Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Psychiatry. 2014 Apr;19(4):427-32. doi: 10.1038/mp.2013.147. Epub 2013 Nov 5.

Central 5-HT4 receptor binding as biomarker of serotonergic tonus in humans: a [11C]SB207145 PET study.

Author information

1] Neurobiology Research Unit, Rigshospitalet and University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark [2] Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging, Copenhagen, Denmark.
1] Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging, Copenhagen, Denmark [2] Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Hvidovre, Denmark.
1] Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging, Copenhagen, Denmark [2] Department of Clinical Physiology, Nuclear Medicine and PET, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
1] Imanova, Centre for Imaging Sciences, London, UK [2] Centre for Neuroscience Imaging, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.


Identification of a biomarker that can inform on extracellular serotonin (5-HT) levels in the brains of living humans would enable greater understanding of the way brain circuits are modulated by serotonergic neurotransmission. Substantial evidence from studies in animals and humans indicates an inverse relationship between central 5-HT tonus and 5-HT type 4 receptor (5-HT4R) density, suggesting that 5-HT4R receptor density may be a biomarker marker for 5-HT tonus. Here, we investigated whether a 3-week administration of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, expected to increase brain 5-HT levels, is associated with a decline in brain 5-HT4R binding. A total of 35 healthy men were studied in a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study. Participants were assigned to receive 3 weeks of oral dosing with placebo or fluoxetine, 40 mg per day. Brain 5-HT4R binding was quantified at baseline and at follow-up with [(11)C]SB207145 positron emission tomography (PET). Three weeks of intervention with fluoxetine was associated with a 5.2% reduction in brain 5-HT4R binding (P=0.017), whereas placebo intervention did not change 5-HT4R binding (P=0.52). Our findings are consistent with a model, wherein the 5-HT4R density adjusts to changes in the extracellular 5-HT tonus. Our data demonstrate for the first time in humans that the imaging of central 5-HT4R binding may be used as an in vivo biomarker of the central 5-HT tonus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center