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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2011 Jun;31(6):1475-81. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2011.11. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

Age and sex effects on 5-HT(4) receptors in the human brain: a [(11)C]SB207145 PET study.

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Neurobiology Research Unit, Department of Neurology, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Experimental studies indicate that the 5-HT(4) receptor activation influence cognitive function, affective symptoms, and the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The prevalence of AD increases with aging, and women have a higher predisposition to both AD and affective disorders than men. This study aimed to investigate sex and age effects on 5-HT(4) receptor-binding potentials in striatum, the limbic system, and neocortex. Positron-emission tomographic scans were conducted using the radioligand [(11)C]SB207145 in a cohort of 30 healthy subjects (mean age 44 years; range 20 to 86 years; 14 men and 16 women). The output parameter, BP(ND), was modeled using the simplified reference tissue model, and partial volume correction was performed with the Muller-Gartner method. A decline with age of 1% per decade was found only in striatum. Women had a 13% lower 5-HT(4) receptor binding in the limbic system. The lower limbic 5-HT(4) receptor binding in women supports a role for 5-HT(4) receptors in the sex-specific differences in emotional control and might contribute to the higher prevalence of affective diseases and AD in women. The relatively stable 5-HT(4) receptor binding with aging contrasts others in subtypes of receptors, which generally decrease with aging.

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