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Neuroimage. 2012 Jan 16;59(2):1508-13. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.08.028. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

PET imaging predicts future body weight and cocaine preference.

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Behavioral Neuropharmacology Lab, Medical Department, Building 490, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA.


Deficits in dopamine D2/D3 receptor (D2R/D3R) binding availability using PET imaging have been reported in obese humans and rodents. Similar deficits have been reported in cocaine-addicts and cocaine-exposed primates. We found that D2R/D3R binding availability negatively correlated with measures of body weight at the time of scan (ventral striatum), at 1 (ventral striatum) and 2 months (dorsal and ventral striatum) post scan in rats. Cocaine preference was negatively correlated with D2R/D3R binding availability 2 months (ventral striatum) post scan. Our findings suggest that inherent deficits in striatal D2R/D3R signaling are related to obesity and drug addiction susceptibility and that ventral and dorsal striatum serve dissociable roles in maintaining weight gain and cocaine preference. Measuring D2R/D3R binding availability provides a way for assessing susceptibility to weight gain and cocaine abuse in rodents and given the translational nature of PET imaging, potentially primates and humans.

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