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J Neurosci. 2009 Aug 12;29(32):9961-6. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0795-09.2009.

Serotonin transporter availability in the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis predicts anxious temperament and brain glucose metabolic activity.

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  • 1Departments of Psychiatry, HealthEmotions Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 53719, USA.


The serotonin transporter (5-HTT) plays a critical role in regulating serotonergic neurotransmission and is implicated in the pathophysiology of anxiety and affective disorders. Positron emission tomography scans using [(11)C]DASB [(11)C]-3-amino-4-(2-dimethylaminomethylphenylsulfanyl)-benzonitrile] to measure 5-HTT availability (an index of receptor density and binding) were performed in 34 rhesus monkeys in which the relationship between regional brain glucose metabolism and anxious temperament was previously established. 5-HTT availability in the amygdalohippocampal area and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis correlated positively with individual differences in a behavioral and neuroendocrine composite of anxious temperament. 5-HTT availability also correlated positively with stress-induced metabolic activity within these regions. Collectively, these findings suggest that serotonergic modulation of neuronal excitability in the neural circuitry associated with anxiety mediates the developmental risk for affect-related psychopathology.

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