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J Nucl Med. 2012 Sep;53(9):1411-4. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.112.103598. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Age effects on serotonin receptor 1B as assessed by PET.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


Previous imaging studies have suggested that there is an age-related decline in brain serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) measures in healthy subjects. This paper addresses whether the availability of 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1B (5-HT(1B)) is seen to decrease with aging via PET imaging.


Forty-eight healthy control subjects (mean age ± SD, 30 ± 10 y; age range, 18-61 y; 33 men, 15 women) underwent (11)C-P943 scanning on a high-resolution PET tomograph. Regions were examined with and without gray matter masking, the latter in an attempt to control for age-related gray matter atrophy on nondisplaceable binding potential (BP(ND)) as determined by a validated multilinear reference tissue model.


5-HT(1B) BP(ND) decreased in the cortex at an average rate of 8% per decade without and 9% with gray matter masking. A negative association with age was also observed in all individual cortical regions. Differences in the putamen and pallidum (positive association) were significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons. No sex- or race-related effects on 5-HT(1B) BP(ND) were found in any regions.


These findings indicate that age is a relevant factor for 5-HT(1B) in the cortex of healthy adults.

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