DOI: 10.14704/nq.2010.8.4.318

The Interactome Hypothesis of Depression

Massimo Cocchi, Fabio Gabrielli, Lucio Tonello, Massimo Pregnolato


It has long been known that the most important function of platelets is to stop the flow of blood from wounds with the help of a set of enzymes, proteins, and lipids supporting complex metabolic clot-forming mechanisms. It is also known that there are close correlations, both enzymatic and metabolic, between platelets and nerve cells with respect to the metabolism of several neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA, etc. Platelets, which serve an historic role as biological markers in psychiatry, can in fact be regarded as virtual "circulating neurons" or "brain ambassadors” that may offer a significant advantage in understanding the neurophysiology of psychiatric disorders including depression. Critical points of potential specific linkage between platelets and depression include serotonin and membrane platelet fatty acids in relation to the cytoskeletal quantum-nanowire network. This paper advances an “interactome” hypothesis of possible connections among enterochromaffin cells, serotonin, platelets and cytoskeletal proteins related to brain neurons with implications regarding the genesis of depressive psychopathology.


brain; neurons; serotonin; enterochromaffin cells; platelets; fatty acids; cytoskeletal proteins; modified membrane fluidity; arachidonic acid; post-synaptic density; interactome; cytoskeletal; quantum-nanowire network

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