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Neurobiol Aging. 2000 Sep-Oct;21(5):683-8.

Age-related dopamine D2/D3 receptor loss in extrastriatal regions of the human brain.

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Department of Neurology, University of Turku, Finland.


Loss of dopamine D2-like receptors in the striatum has been associated with both normal human aging and impairment of cognitive and motor functions in the elderly. To investigate whether there are age-associated changes in dopamine D2 and D3 receptor subtypes (D2/3Rs) outside the striatum, a D2/3R selective high-affinity radioligand [11C]FLB 457 was used in positron emission tomography (PET) examinations for 24 normal healthy male subjects (age range 19-74 years). Significant age-related declines of D2/3Rs were detected in all the brain regions studied: the anterior cingulate cortex (decline of 13% per increase of a decade in age, P < 0.001). the frontal cortex (11%, P < 0.001), the lateral temporal cortex (10%, P < 0.001), the hippocampus (10%, P < 0.01), the medial temporal cortex (9%, P < 0.001), the amygdala (7%, P < 0.01), the medial thalamus (6%, P < 0.001) and the lateral thalamus (5%, P < 0.01). The rate of D2/3R decline was significantly faster in the frontal cortex as compared to the medial temporal cortex (P < 0.05, Bonferroni corrected) and as compared to the medial thalamus (P < 0.05, Bonferroni corrected). These results indicate that the previously demonstrated age-related decline in striatal dopamine D2 receptors extends to several extrastriatal regions in normal human males. Further, the rate of D2/3R decline may be faster in the frontal cortex as compared to the temporal and thalamic regions.

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