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Neurobiol Aging. 2009 Sep;30(9):1490-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2007.12.008. Epub 2008 Feb 1.

Age-related decline in nicotinic receptor availability with [(123)I]5-IA-85380 SPECT.

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Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


Human postmortem studies have reported decreases with age in high affinity nicotine binding in brain. We investigated the effect of age on beta(2)-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (beta(2)-nAChR) availability in eight brain regions of living human subjects using the ligand [(123)I]5-IA-85380 ([(123)I]5-IA) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Healthy, nonsmokers (N=47) ranging in age from 18 to 85 were administered [(123)I]5-IA using a bolus plus constant infusion paradigm and imaged 6-8h later under equilibrium conditions. The effect of age on regional beta(2)-nAChR availability (V(T), regional brain activity/free plasma parent, a measure proportional to the binding potential) was analyzed using linear regression and Pearson's correlation (r). Age and regional beta(2)-nAChR availability were inversely correlated in seven of the eight brain regions analyzed, with decline ranging from 32% (thalamus) to 18% (occipital cortex) over the adult lifespan, or up to 5% per decade. These results in living human subjects corroborate postmortem reports of decline in high affinity nicotine binding with age and may aid in elucidating the role of beta(2)-nAChRs in cognitive aging.

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