The efflux of 14C-5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT) from platelets of 25 depressed patients (16 unipolar and 9 bipolar) and 22 control subjects was studied in the presence of carbamyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (FCCP), which dissipates H+ gradients. FCCP (0.31 microM), at 10 minutes' incubation time, enhanced the efflux of 14C-5HT to a significantly higher extent from platelets of patients with bipolar depression than from platelets of control subjects. An analysis of variance revealed a significant interaction between the diagnostic categories (unipolar, bipolar, and control) and sex in accounting for variation of the FCCP-evoked efflux. The diagnostic category X sex effect was also significant. The results reported indicate that the FCCP-evoked efflux of 5HT is an easily measured biochemical parameter of possible diagnostic interest.