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Presynaptic 5-HT1A is Related to 5-HTT Receptor Density in the Human Brain.

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  • Biology
  • Pharmacology


5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT or serotonin) is an important neurotransmitter for a number of brain functions and widely distributed throughout the brain. Physiological and pharmacological relationship between 5-HT1A receptors and serotonin transporter (5-HTT) in the regulation of 5-HT neurotransmission has now been documented. A relationship between 5-HT1A receptors and 5-HTT is also suggested by the pathophysiology of depression and the mechanism of action of antidepressants. We have scanned 42 healthy adults with both [11C] WAY-100635 and [11C] DASB to investigate the anatomical co-distribution of multiple serotonergic markers. We hypothesized that lower 5-HTT densities in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) and limbic regions will be accompanied by lower 5-HT1A receptor density in the same regions, contributing to the 5-HT1A receptor desensitization. In addition, variations in DRN 5-HT1A receptor density can theoretically influence the density and/or function of other serotonin receptor subtypes and the 5-HTT consequent to changes in serotonergic tone. In a comparatively large sample of volunteers, we have shown that the relationship between 5-HT1A and 5-HTT PET indices was complex. We were unable to demonstrate robust, intra-regional relationships between 5-HT1A and 5-HTT densities. Inter-regionally, DRN 5-HT1A receptors were related to cortical (temporal and frontal regions) and paralimbic (insula), but not limbic 5-HTT. This latter finding may reflect differences in 5-HT tone between individuals, and highlights probable substrates sensitive to variations in DRN 5-HT function.

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