Although the main biological hypothesis on the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is centered on the serotonin system, indications are available that other neurotransmitters, and even second messengers, particularly the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signaling, may be involved, though effective data are few. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate and compare the basal and isoprenaline (ISO)-stimulated velocity of adenylate-cyclase (AC) in human platelet membranes of patients with OCD and healthy control subjects. The results showed that the basal and ISO-stimulated AC activity, as well as the dose-response curves of ISO by using agonist concentrations ranging between 0.1 nM and 10 muM, were not different in the two groups. However, OCD patients showed lower EC(50) and higher E(max) values than healthy subjects. These findings suggest the presence of supersensitive beta-adrenergic receptors in platelets of OCD patients.