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RATIONALE - Sex differences in the dopaminergic response to psychostimulants could have implications for drug abuse risk and other psychopathology involving the dopamine system, but human data are limited and mixed.
OBJECTIVES - Here, we sought to investigate sex differences in dopamine release after oral D-amphetamine administration.
METHODS - We used [F]fallypride positron emission tomography (PET) to measure the change in dopamine D2/3 receptor availability (%ΔBP, an index of dopamine release) between placebo and D-amphetamine sessions in two independent datasets containing a total of 39 females (on either hormonal birth control n = 18, postmenopausal n = 10, or studied in the first 10 days of their menstrual cycle n = 11) and 37 males.
RESULTS - Using both a priori anatomical regions of interest based on previous findings and voxelwise analyses, we failed to consistently detect broad sex differences in D-amphetamine-induced dopamine release. Nevertheless, there was limited evidence for greater right ventral striatal dopamine release in young adult males relative to similarly aged females, but this was not consistently observed across samples. Plasma estradiol did not correlate with dopamine release and this measure did not differ in females on and off hormonal birth control.
CONCLUSIONS - While our finding in young adults from one dataset of greater %ΔBP in males is partially consistent with a previously published study on sex differences in D-amphetamine-induced dopamine release, our data do not support the presence of consistent widespread sex differences in this measure of dopamine release.
Reward valuation, which underlies all value-based decision-making, has been associated with dopamine function in many studies of nonhuman animals, but there is relatively less direct evidence for an association in humans. Here, we measured dopamine D receptor (DRD2) availability in vivo in humans to examine relations between individual differences in dopamine receptor availability and neural activity associated with a measure of reward valuation, expected value (i.e., the product of reward magnitude and the probability of obtaining the reward). Fourteen healthy adult subjects underwent PET with [F]fallypride, a radiotracer with strong affinity for DRD2, and fMRI (on a separate day) while performing a reward valuation task. [F]fallypride binding potential, reflecting DRD2 availability, in the midbrain correlated positively with neural activity associated with expected value, specifically in the left ventral striatum/caudate. The present results provide in vivo evidence from humans showing midbrain dopamine characteristics are associated with reward valuation.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by widespread degeneration of monoaminergic (especially dopaminergic) networks, manifesting with a number of both motor and non-motor symptoms. Regional alterations to dopamine D receptors in PD patients are documented in striatal and some extrastriatal areas, and medications that target D receptors can improve motor and non-motor symptoms. However, data regarding the combined pattern of D receptor binding in both striatal and extrastriatal regions in PD are limited. We studied 35 PD patients off-medication and 31 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs) using PET imaging with [F]fallypride, a high affinity D receptor ligand, to measure striatal and extrastriatal D nondisplaceable binding potential (BP). PD patients completed PET imaging in the off medication state, and motor severity was concurrently assessed. Voxel-wise evaluation between groups revealed significant BP reductions in PD patients in striatal and several extrastriatal regions, including the locus coeruleus and mesotemporal cortex. A region-of-interest (ROI) based approach quantified differences in dopamine D receptors, where reduced BP was noted in the globus pallidus, caudate, amygdala, hippocampus, ventral midbrain, and thalamus of PD patients relative to HC subjects. Motor severity positively correlated with D receptor density in the putamen and globus pallidus. These findings support the hypothesis that abnormal D expression occurs in regions related to both the motor and non-motor symptoms of PD, including areas richly invested with noradrenergic neurons.
The nigrostriatal and mesocorticolimbic dopamine networks regulate reward-driven behavior. Regional alterations to mesolimbic dopamine D receptor expression are described in drug-seeking and addiction disorders. Parkinson's disease (PD) patients are frequently prescribed D-like dopamine agonist (DAgonist) therapy for motor symptoms, yet a proportion develop clinically significant behavioral addictions characterized by impulsive and compulsive behaviors (ICBs). Until now, changes in D receptor binding in both striatal and extrastriatal regions have not been concurrently quantified in this population. We identified 35 human PD patients (both male and female) receiving DAgonist therapy, with ( = 17) and without ( = 18) ICBs, matched for age, disease duration, disease severity, and dose of dopamine therapy. In the off-dopamine state, all completed PET imaging with [F]fallypride, a high affinity D-like receptor ligand that can measure striatal and extrastriatal D nondisplaceable binding potential (BP). Striatal differences between ICB+/ICB- patients localized to the ventral striatum and putamen, where ICB+ subjects had reduced BP In this group, self-reported severity of ICB symptoms positively correlated with midbrain D receptor BP Group differences in regional D BP relationships were also notable: ICB+ (but not ICB-) patients expressed positive correlations between midbrain and caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, and amygdala BPs. These findings support the hypothesis that compulsive behaviors in PD are associated with reduced ventral and dorsal striatal D expression, similar to changes in comparable behavioral disorders. The data also suggest that relatively preserved ventral midbrain dopaminergic projections throughout nigrostriatal and mesolimbic networks are characteristic of ICB+ patients, and may account for differential DAgonist therapeutic response. The biologic determinants of compulsive reward-based behaviors have broad clinical relevance, from addiction to neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we address biomolecular distinctions in Parkinson's disease patients with impulsive compulsive behaviors (ICBs). This is the first study to image a large cohort of ICB+ patients using positron emission tomography with [18F]fallypride, allowing quantification of D receptors throughout the mesocorticolimbic network. We demonstrate widespread differences in dopaminergic networks, including (1) D2-like receptor distinctions in the ventral striatum and putamen, and (2) a preservation of widespread dopaminergic projections emerging from the midbrain, which is associated with the severity of compulsive behaviors. This clearly illustrates the roles of D receptors and medication effects in maladaptive behaviors, and localizes them specifically to nigrostriatal and extrastriatal regions.
Copyright © 2018 the authors 0270-6474/18/383231-10$15.00/0.
Loss of secretory IgA is common in the small airways of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and may contribute to disease pathogenesis. Using mice that lack secretory IgA in the airways due to genetic deficiency of polymeric Ig receptor (pIgR mice), we investigated the role of neutrophils in driving the fibrotic small airway wall remodeling and emphysema that develops spontaneously in these mice. By flow cytometry, we found an increase in the percentage of neutrophils among CD45 cells in the lungs, as well as an increase in total neutrophils, in pIgR mice compared with wild-type controls. This increase in neutrophils in pIgR mice was associated with elastin degradation in the alveolar compartment and around small airways, along with increased collagen deposition in small airway walls. Neutrophil depletion using anti-Ly6G antibodies or treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics inhibited development of both emphysema and small airway remodeling, suggesting that airway bacteria provide the stimulus for deleterious neutrophilic inflammation in this model. Exogenous bacterial challenge using lysates prepared from pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacteria worsened neutrophilic inflammation and lung remodeling in pIgR mice. This phenotype was abrogated by antiinflammatory therapy with roflumilast. Together, these studies support the concept that disruption of the mucosal immune barrier in small airways contributes to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease progression by allowing bacteria to stimulate chronic neutrophilic inflammation, which, in turn, drives progressive airway wall fibrosis and emphysematous changes in the lung parenchyma.
The fat mass and obesity associated gene (FTO) was the first gene identified by genome-wide association studies to correlate with higher body mass index (BMI) and increased odds of obesity. FTO remains the locus with the largest and most replicated effect on body weight, but the mechanism whereby FTO affects body weight and the development of obesity is not fully understood. Here we tested whether FTO is associated with differences in food cravings and a key aspect of dopamine function that has been hypothesized to influence food reward mechanisms. Moreover, as food cravings and dopamine function are known to decline with age, we explored effects of age on relations between FTO and food cravings and dopamine function. Seven-eight healthy subjects between 22 and 83years old completed the Food Cravings Questionnaire and underwent genotyping for FTO rs9939609, the first FTO single nucleotide polymorphism associated with obesity. Compared to TT homozygotes, individuals carrying the obesity-susceptible A allele had higher total food cravings, which correlated with higher BMI. Additionally, food cravings declined with age, but this age effect differed across variants of FTO rs9939609: while TT homozygotes showed the typical age-related decline in food cravings, there was no such decline among A carriers. All subjects were scanned with [18F]fallypride PET to assess a recent proposal that at the neurochemical level FTO alters dopamine D2-like receptor (DRD2) function to influence food reward related mechanisms. However, we observed no evidence of FTO effects on DRD2 availability.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Spontaneous eye blink rate (EBR) has been proposed as a noninvasive, inexpensive marker of dopamine functioning. Support for a relation between EBR and dopamine function comes from observations that EBR is altered in populations with dopamine dysfunction and EBR changes under a dopaminergic manipulation. However, the evidence across the literature is inconsistent and incomplete. A direct correlation between EBR and dopamine function has so far been observed only in nonhuman animals. Given significant interest in using EBR as a proxy for dopamine function, this study aimed to verify a direct association in healthy, human adults. Here we measured EBR in healthy human subjects whose dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) availability was assessed with positron emission tomography (PET)-[18F]fallypride to examine the predictive power of EBR for DRD2 availability. Effects of the dopamine agonist bromocriptine on EBR also were examined to determine the responsiveness of EBR to dopaminergic stimulation and, in light of the hypothesized inverted-U profile of dopamine effects, the role of DRD2 availability in EBR responsivity to bromocriptine. Results from 20 subjects (age 33.6 ± 7.6 years, 9F) showed no relation between EBR and DRD2 availability. EBR also was not responsive to dopaminergic stimulation by bromocriptine, and individual differences in DRD2 availability did not modulate EBR responsivity to bromocriptine. Given that EBR is hypothesized to be particularly sensitive to DRD2 function, these findings suggest caution in using EBR as a proxy for dopamine function in healthy humans.
Basal-like/triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are among the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, and disproportionally affects young premenopausal women and women of African descent. Patients with TNBC suffer a poor prognosis due in part to a lack of molecularly targeted therapies, which represents a critical barrier for effective treatment. Here, we identify EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase as a clinically relevant target for TNBC. EphA2 expression is enriched in the basal-like molecular subtype in human breast cancers. Loss of EphA2 function in both human and genetically engineered mouse models of TNBC reduced tumor growth in culture and in vivo. Mechanistically, targeting EphA2 impaired cell cycle progression through S-phase via downregulation of c-Myc and stabilization of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27/KIP1. A small molecule kinase inhibitor of EphA2 effectively suppressed tumor cell growth in vivo, including TNBC patient-derived xenografts. Thus, our data identify EphA2 as a novel molecular target for TNBC.
Dopamine function is broadly implicated in multiple neuropsychiatric conditions believed to have a genetic basis. Although a few positron emission tomography (PET) studies have investigated the impact of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) on D2/3 receptor availability (binding potential, BP), these studies have often been limited by small sample size. Furthermore, the most commonly studied SNP in D2/3 BP (Taq1A) is not located in the DRD2 gene itself, suggesting that its linkage with other DRD2 SNPs may explain previous PET findings. Here, in the largest PET genetic study to date (n=84), we tested for effects of the C957T and -141C Ins/Del SNPs (located within DRD2) as well as Taq1A on BP of the high-affinity D2 receptor tracer F-Fallypride. In a whole-brain voxelwise analysis, we found a positive linear effect of C957T T allele status on striatal BP bilaterally. The multilocus genetic scores containing C957T and one or both of the other SNPs produced qualitatively similar striatal results to C957T alone. The number of C957T T alleles predicted BP in anatomically defined putamen and ventral striatum (but not caudate) regions of interest, suggesting some regional specificity of effects in the striatum. By contrast, no significant effects arose in cortical regions. Taken together, our data support the critical role of C957T in striatal D2/3 receptor availability. This work has implications for a number of psychiatric conditions in which dopamine signaling and variation in C957T status have been implicated, including schizophrenia and substance use disorders.
Physical activity has been shown to ameliorate dopaminergic degeneration in non-human animal models. However, the effects of regular physical activity on normal age-related changes in dopamine function in humans are unknown. Here we present cross-sectional data from forty-four healthy human subjects between 23 and 80 years old, showing that typical age-related dopamine D2 receptor loss, assessed with PET [18F]fallypride, was significantly reduced in physically active adults compared to less active adults.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.