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Synapse. 2011 Jan;65(1):35-40. doi: 10.1002/syn.20813.

Positron emission tomography imaging of dopamine D₂/₃ receptors in the human cortex with [¹¹C]FLB 457: reproducibility studies.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


In a recent PET study, we demonstrated the ability to measure amphetamine-induced DA release in the human cortex with the relatively high affinity dopamine D₂/₃ radioligand [¹¹C]FLB 457 (Narendran et al., [2009] Synapse 63:447-461). The aim of this study was to evaluate the reproducibility and reliability of [¹¹C]FLB 457 in the same imaging paradigm we used to measure amphetamine-induced DA transmission. Six healthy human subjects (three males/three females)were studied twice with [¹¹C]FLB 457, once at baseline and again 3 h following the end of the baseline scan. D₂/₃ receptor binding parameters were estimated using a two-tissue compartment kinetic analysis in the cortical regions of interest and cerebellum (reference region). The test-retest variability and intraclass correlation coefficient were assessed for distribution volume (VT), binding potential relative to plasma concentration (BP(P)), and binding potential relative to non-displaceable uptake (BP(ND)) of [¹¹C]FLB 457. The test-retest variability of [¹¹C]FLB 457 VT, BPP, and BP(ND) were ≤15%, consistent with the published test-retest variability for this ligand in other brain regions (Sudo et al., [2001] Nucl Med Commun 22:1215-1221; Vilkman et al., [2000] Eur J Nucl Med 27:1666-1673). In addition, no significant decrease in [¹¹C]FLB457 BP(ND) was observed in the second scan compared to the first one. This suggests that the contribution of carryover mass of [¹¹C]FLB 457 to the measured reduction in[¹¹C]FLB 457 BP(ND) following amphetamine was relatively low. These data support the further validation of [¹¹C]FLB 457 as a tool to measure amphetamine-induced dopamine release in the human cortex.

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