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Neuroimage. 2002 Aug;16(4):1015-27.

In vivo detection of striatal dopamine release during reward: a PET study with [(11)C]raclopride and a single dynamic scan approach.

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INSERM U334, Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot, 4 Place du Géneral Leclerc, 91401, Orsay, France.


A new simple method is proposed to detect, using PET and [(11)C]raclopride, changes in striatal extracellular dopamine concentration during a rewarded effortful task. This approach aimed to increase the sensitivity in detection of these effects. It requires a single-dynamic PET study and combines the classic kinetic compartmental model with the general linear model of SPM to provide statistical inference on changes in [(11)C]raclopride time-activity curve due to endogenous dopamine release during two short periods of activation. Kinetic simulations predicted that 100% dopamine increase during two 5-min periods starting at 30 and 60 min after the injection can be detected. Moreover the effects of dopamine release on the [(11)C]raclopride time-activity-curve are different from those induced by CBF increase. These simulated curves were used to construct the statistical linear model and to test voxel-by-voxel in healthy subjects the hypothesis that dopamine is released in the ventral striatum during periods of unexpected monetary gains, but not during periods of unexpected monetary loss. The experimental results are in line with the expected results although the amplitude of the effects due to dopamine release is moderate. The advantages and the limits of this method as well as the relevance of the results for dopamine involvement in reward processing are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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