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Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Jan 15;65(2):175-80. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.08.034. Epub 2008 Oct 29.

Positron emission tomography imaging of the serotonin transporter and 5-HT(1A) receptor in alcohol dependence.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032, USA. dm437@columbia.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Rodent models as well as studies in humans have suggested alterations in serotonin (5-HT) innervation and transmission in early-onset genetically determined or type II alcoholism. This study examines two indices of serotonergic transmission, 5-HT transporter levels and 5-HT(1A) availability, in vivo, in type II alcoholism. This is the first report of combined tracers for pre- and postsynaptic serotonergic transmission in the same alcoholic subjects and the first study of 5-HT(1A) receptors in alcoholism.

METHODS:

Fourteen alcohol-dependent subjects were scanned (11 with both tracers, 1 with [(11)C]DASB only, and two with [(11)C]WAY100635 only). Twelve healthy control subjects (HC) subjects were scanned with [(11)C]DASB, and another 13 were scanned with [(11)C]WAY100635. Binding potential (BP(p), mL/cm(3)) and the specific to nonspecific partition coefficient (BP(ND), unitless) were derived for both tracers using a two-tissue compartment model and compared with control subjects across different brain regions. Relationships to severity of alcoholism were assessed.

RESULTS:

No significant differences were observed in regional BP(p) or BP(ND) between patients and control subjects in any of the regions examined. No significant relationships were observed between regional 5-HT transporter availability, 5-HT(1A) availability, and disease severity, with the exception of a significant negative correlation between 5-HT transporters and years of dependence in amygdala and insula.

CONCLUSION:

This study did not find alterations in measures of 5-HT(1A) or 5-HT transporter levels in patients with type II alcoholism.

PMID:
18962444
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2621104
Free PMC Article

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