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[¹⁸F]FDOPA uptake in the raphe nuclei complex reflects serotonin transporter availability. A combined [¹⁸F]FDOPA and [¹¹C]DASB PET study in Parkinson's disease

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  • N Pavese
  • B S Simpson, Unknown
  • V Metta, Unknown
  • A Ramlackhansingh
  • ,
  • K Ray Chaudhuri
  • ,
  • D J Brooks

Brain uptake of [(18)F]FDOPA, measured with PET, reflects the activity of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase, an enzyme largely expressed in monoaminergic nerve terminals. This enzyme catalyzes a number of decarboxylation reactions including conversion of l-dopa into dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptophan into serotonin. For more than 20years [(18)F]FDOPA PET has been used to assess dopaminergic nigrostriatal dysfunction in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). More recently, however, [(18)F]FDOPA PET has also been employed as a marker of serotoninergic and noradrenergic function in PD patients. In this study, we provide further evidence in support of the view that [(18)F]FDOPA PET can be used to evaluate the distribution and the function of serotoninergic systems in the brain. Eighteen patients with PD were investigated with both [(18)F]FDOPA and [(11)C]DASB PET, the latter being a marker of serotonin transport (SERT) availability. We then assessed the relationship between measurements of the two tracers within brain serotoninergic structures. [(18)F]FDOPA uptake in the median raphe nuclei complex of PD patients was significantly correlated with SERT availability in the same structure. Trends towards significant correlations between [(18)F]FDOPA Ki values and [(11)C]DASB binding values were also observed in the hypothalamus and the anterior cingulate cortex, suggesting a serotoninergic contribution to [(18)F]FDOPA uptake in these regions. Conversely, no correlations were found in brain structures with mixed dopaminergic, serotoninergic and noradrenergic innervations, or with predominant dopaminergic innervation. These findings provide evidence that [(18)F]FDOPA PET represents a valid marker of raphe serotoninergic function in PD and supports previous studies where [(18)F]FDOPA PET has been used to assess serotoninergic function in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1080-4
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2012

    Research areas

  • Aged, Aniline Compounds, Biological Availability, Dihydroxyphenylalanine, Female, Humans, Male, Parkinson Disease, Positron-Emission Tomography, Radiopharmaceuticals, Raphe Nuclei, Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins, Sulfides, Tissue Distribution

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