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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 1997;104(4-5):329-39.

Amphetamine effects on dopamine release and synthesis rate studied in the Rhesus monkey brain by positron emission tomography.

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  • 1Uppsala University PET Centre, University Hospital, University of Uppsala, Sweden.


Positron emission tomography (PET) was used in a multitracer protocol to evaluate D-amphetamine induced effects on dopamine biosynthesis rate and release in propofol anesthetized Rhesus monkeys. L-[beta-11C]DOPA was used as biochemical probe to study the brain dopamine biosynthesis rate whilst dopamine release was followed by the binding displacement of the [11C]-radiolabelled dopamine receptor antagonists, raclopride and N-methylspiperone. Studies were performed with either a constant rate intravenous infusion of D-amphetamine aiming at plasma concentrations of 0.2 to 25 ng/ml or with intravenous bolus doses of 0.1 and 0.4 mg/kg. Decreased binding of the dopamine receptor antagonists was measured in both modes of D-amphetamine administration but notably [11C]N-methylspiperone was less able to sense D-amphetamine induced release of dopamine. At plasma concentrations aimed above 1 ng/ml a levelling off of the binding of [11C]raclopride at 68 +/- 8.1% of the baseline value indicated that displacement was only possible from a fraction of the binding sites. Amphetamine was observed to increase the rate constant for L-[beta-11C]DOPA utilization in the brain. This was most likely due to an acutely induced subsensitivity of presynaptic dopamine receptors. L-[beta-11C]DOPA and [11C]raclopride were found suitable to indicate changes in dopamine synthesis rate and release respectively using PET and can be used to mirror drug-induced changes of brain dopaminergic function.

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