Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2012 Apr;32(4):676-84. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2011.171. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

The utility of (11)C-arachidonate PET to study in vivo dopaminergic neurotransmission in humans.

Author information

  • 1Brain Physiology and Metabolism Section, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


We developed a novel method to study dopaminergic neurotransmission using positron emission tomography (PET) with [1-(11)C]arachidonic acid ([1-(11)C]AA). Previous preclinical studies have shown the utility of [1-(11)C]AA as a marker of signal transduction coupled to cytosolic phospholipase A(2) (cPLA(2)). Using [1-(11)C]AA and [(15)O]water PET, we measured regional incorporation coefficients K(*) for AA and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), respectively, in healthy male volunteers given the D(1)/D(2) agonist (10 or 20 μg/kg subcutaneous) apomorphine. We confirmed a robust central dopaminergic response to apomorphine by observing significant increases in the serum concentration of growth hormone. We observed significant increases, as well as decreases in K(*) and increases in rCBF in response to apomorphine. These changes remained significant after covarying for handedness and apomorphine dosage. The magnitude of increases in K(*) was lower than those in our previous animal experiments, likely reflecting the smaller dose of apomorphine used in the current human study. Changes in K(*) may reflect neuronal signaling downstream of activated D(2)-like receptors coupled to cPLA(2). Changes in rCBF are consistent with previous studies showing net functional effects of D(1)/D(2) activation. [1-(11)C]AA PET may be useful for studying disturbances of dopaminergic neurotransmission in conditions such as Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk