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J Neurosci. 2009 Nov 25;29(47):14734-40. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3765-09.2009.

Striatal dopamine d2/d3 receptor availability is reduced in methamphetamine dependence and is linked to impulsivity.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90024, USA.

Abstract

While methamphetamine addiction has been associated with both impulsivity and striatal dopamine D(2)/D(3) receptor deficits, human studies have not directly linked the latter two entities. We therefore compared methamphetamine-dependent and healthy control subjects using the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (version 11, BIS-11) and positron emission tomography with [(18)F]fallypride to measure striatal dopamine D(2)/D(3) receptor availability. The methamphetamine-dependent subjects reported recent use of the drug 3.3 g per week, and a history of using methamphetamine, on average, for 12.5 years. They had higher scores than healthy control subjects on all BIS-11 impulsiveness subscales (p < 0.001). Volume-of-interest analysis found lower striatal D(2)/D(3) receptor availability in methamphetamine-dependent than in healthy control subjects (p < 0.01) and a negative relationship between impulsiveness and striatal D(2)/D(3) receptor availability in the caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens that reached statistical significance in methamphetamine-dependent subjects. Combining data from both groups, voxelwise analysis indicated that impulsiveness was related to D(2)/D(3) receptor availability in left caudate nucleus and right lateral putamen/claustrum (p < 0.05, determined by threshold-free cluster enhancement). In separate group analyses, correlations involving the head and body of the caudate and the putamen of methamphetamine-dependent subjects and the lateral putamen/claustrum of control subjects were observed at a weaker threshold (p < 0.12 corrected). The findings suggest that low striatal D(2)/D(3) receptor availability may mediate impulsive temperament and thereby influence addiction.

PMID:
19940168
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2822639
Free PMC Article

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