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Neurosci Lett. 1996 Feb 2;204(1-2):25-8.

Sex difference in 5HT2 receptor in the living human brain.

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  • 1PET-Biomedical Cyclotron Unit, Erasme Hospital, Free University of Brussels, Belgium.


Serotonergic mechanisms are involved in gender-related behaviors and psychiatric conditions like aggression, eating disorders, depression, impulsivity or suicide. We studied gender differences in the living human brain type-2 serotonin receptor (5HT2r). Twenty-two healthy age-matched men and women were investigated using positron emission tomography and the selective radiotracer, 18F-labeled altanserin. Binding was quantified using a non-linear least-squares minimization procedure. We found significantly higher 5HT2r binding capacity in men than in women, especially in the frontal and cingulate cortices. Distinct liability for men and women to suffer from some psychiatric disorders responding to serotonergic agents may be related to differences in brain serotonin receptors.

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