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J Nucl Med. 1996 Jul;37(7):1122-7.

PET measurement of neuroreceptor occupancy by typical and atypical neuroleptics.

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Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Ohio 44141, USA.


The goal of this study was to use PET and 11C-N-methylspiperone (11C-NMSP) to measure the difference in relative occupancy of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine-2 or 5-HT2A) and dopamine-2 (D2) neuroreceptors in subjects being treated with typical or atypical antipsychotic drugs.


We used PET and single-dose 11C-NMSP to measure receptor indices and relative receptor occupancy of 5-HT2A receptors in frontal cortex and D2 receptors in basal ganglia in five subjects who were neuroleptic free, five subjects who were being treated with typical antipsychotic drugs and five subjects who were being treated with clozapine, an atypical antipsychotic drug.


Among the three groups, there were significant differences in 5-HT2A indices, D2 indices and the ratio of 5-HT2A to D2 indices. With no overlap, the 5-HT2A index separated all subjects who received clozapine and the D2 index separated the remaining two groups.


Typical antipsychotic and atypical antipsychotic subjects do have differing patterns of 5-HT2A and D2 relative receptor occupancy when measured with a single PET scan, single 11C-NMSP radiotracer dose and no separately injected "cold" pharmaceutical.

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