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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.
Subjective responses to psychostimulants vary, the basis of which is poorly understood, especially in relation to possible cortical contributions. Here, we tested for relationships between participants' positive subjective responses to oral d-amphetamine (dAMPH) versus placebo and variability in striatal and extrastriatal dopamine (DA) receptor availability and release, measured via positron emission tomography (PET) with the radiotracer (18)F-fallypride. Analyses focused on 35 healthy adult participants showing positive subjective effects to dAMPH measured via the Drug Effects Questionnaire (DEQ) Feel, Like, High, and Want More subscales (Responders), and were repeated after inclusion of 11 subjects who lacked subjective responses. Associations between peak DEQ subscale ratings and both baseline (18)F-fallypride binding potential (BPnd; an index of D2/D3 receptor availability) and the percentage change in BPnd post dAMPH (%ΔBPnd; a measure of DA release) were assessed. Baseline BPnd in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) predicted the peak level of High reported following dAMPH. Furthermore, %ΔBPnd in vmPFC positively correlated with DEQ Want More ratings. DEQ Want More was also positively correlated with %ΔBPnd in right ventral striatum and left insula. This work indicates that characteristics of DA functioning in vmPFC, a cortical area implicated in subjective valuation, are associated with both subjective high and incentive (wanting) responses. The observation that insula %ΔBPnd was associated with drug wanting converges with evidence suggesting its role in drug craving. These findings highlight the importance of variability in DA signaling in specific paralimbic cortical regions in dAMPH's subjective response, which may confer risk for abusing psychostimulants.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rate of delivery of psychostimulants has been associated with their positive euphoric effects and potential addiction liability. However, information on individual differences in onset of d-amphetamine's effects remains scarce. We examined individual differences in the time to peak subjective and physiological effects and the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of oral d-amphetamine. We considered two independent studies that used different dosing regimens where subjects completed the drug effects questionnaire at multiple time points post d-amphetamine. Based on the observation of distinct individual differences in time course of drug effects questionnaire "feel", "high", and "like" ratings (DEQH+L+F) in Study 1, subjects in both studies were categorized as early peak responders (peak within 60 minutes), late peak responders (peak > 60 minutes) or nonresponders; 20-25% of participants were categorized as early peak responders, 50-55% as late peak responders and 20-30% as nonresponders. Physiological (both studies) and plasma d-amphetamine (Study 1) were compared among these groups. Early peak responders exhibited an earlier rise in plasma d-amphetamine levels and more sustained elevation in heart rate compared to late peak responders. The present data illustrate the presence of significant individual differences in the temporal pattern of responses to oral d-amphetamine, which may contribute to heightened abuse potential.
© The Author(s) 2016.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Attention deficits are often among the most persistent and debilitating impairments resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study examined the effects of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse) in treating attention deficits due to moderate-to-severe TBI. It was the first study of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate with this population and, in fact, was the first controlled trial in this area examining a stimulant medication option other than methylphenidate.
METHODS - This was a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. A total of 22 rigorously selected cases were enrolled, 13 of whom completed the trial. They were 16-42 years of age and had newly acquired attention deficits persisting for 6-34 months post-injury. They were assessed on a broad range of neuropsychological and behavioural measures at baseline, 6-weeks and at 12-weeks.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS - Positive treatment effects were found involving selective measures of sustained attention, working memory, response speed stability and endurance and in aspects of executive functioning. No major problems with safety or tolerability were observed. Some moderating treatment effects were found from a broad range of pre-treatment subject characteristics and injury variables examined. Avenues for further research and treatment applications in this area are discussed.
Here, we extended our findings from a genome-wide association study of the euphoric response to d-amphetamine in healthy human volunteers by identifying enrichment between SNPs associated with response to d-amphetamine and SNPs associated with psychiatric disorders. We found that SNPs nominally associated (P ≤ 0.05 and P ≤ 0.01) with schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were also nominally associated with d-amphetamine response. Furthermore, we found that the source of this enrichment was an excess of alleles that increased sensitivity to the euphoric effects of d-amphetamine and decreased susceptibility to schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In contrast, three negative control phenotypes (height, inflammatory bowel disease, and Parkinson disease) did not show this enrichment. Taken together, our results suggest that alleles identified using an acute challenge with a dopaminergic drug in healthy individuals can be used to identify alleles that confer risk for psychiatric disorders commonly treated with dopaminergic agonists and antagonists. More importantly, our results show the use of the enrichment approach as an alternative to stringent standards for genome-wide significance and suggest a relatively novel approach to the analysis of small cohorts in which intermediate phenotypes have been measured.
BACKGROUND - Everyday life demands continuous flexibility in thought and behavior. We examined whether individual differences in dopamine function are related to variability in the effects of amphetamine on one aspect of flexibility: task switching.
METHODS - Forty healthy human participants performed a task-switching paradigm following placebo and oral amphetamine administration. [(18)F]fallypride was used to measure D2/D3 baseline receptor availability and amphetamine-stimulated dopamine release.
RESULTS - The majority of the participants showed amphetamine-induced benefits through reductions in switch costs. However, such benefits were variable. Individuals with higher baseline thalamic and cortical receptor availability and striatal dopamine release showed greater reductions in switch costs following amphetamine than individuals with lower levels. The relationship between dopamine receptors and stimulant-enhanced flexibility was partially mediated by striatal dopamine release.
CONCLUSIONS - These data indicate that the impact of the psychostimulant on cognitive flexibility is influenced by the status of dopamine within a thalamocorticostriatal network. Beyond demonstrating a link between this dopaminergic network and the enhancement in task switching, these neural measures accounted for unique variance in predicting the psychostimulant-induced cognitive enhancement. These results suggest that there may be measurable aspects of variability in the dopamine system that predispose certain individuals to benefit from and hence use psychostimulants for cognitive enhancement.
Copyright © 2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Animal studies suggest the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) plays an important role in decision-making. In rats, DA depletion decreases tolerance for effort and probability costs, while drugs enhancing DA increase tolerance for these costs. However, data regarding the effect of DA manipulations on effort and probability costs in humans remain scarce. The current study examined acute effects of d-amphetamine, an indirect DA agonist, on willingness of healthy human volunteers to exert effort for monetary rewards at varying levels of reward value and reward probability. Based on preclinical research, we predicted amphetamine would increase exertion of effort, particularly when reward probability was low. Over three sessions, 17 healthy normal adults received placebo, d-amphetamine 10 mg, and 20 mg under counterbalanced double-blind conditions and completed the Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task. Consistent with predictions, amphetamine enhanced willingness to exert effort, particularly when reward probability was lower. Amphetamine did not alter effects of reward magnitude on willingness to exert effort. Amphetamine sped task performance, but its psychomotor effects were not strongly related to its effects on decision-making. This is the first demonstration in humans that dopaminergic manipulations alter willingness to exert effort for rewards. These findings help elucidate neurochemical substrates of choice, with implications for neuropsychiatric diseases characterized by dopaminergic dysfunction and motivational deficits.
Dopamine (DA) has long been implicated in impulsivity, but the precise mechanisms linking human variability in DA signaling to differences in impulsive traits remain largely unknown. By using a dual-scan positron emission tomography approach in healthy human volunteers with amphetamine and the D2/D3 ligand [18F]fallypride, we found that higher levels of trait impulsivity were predicted by diminished midbrain D2/D3 autoreceptor binding and greater amphetamine-induced DA release in the striatum, which was in turn associated with stimulant craving. Path analysis confirmed that the impact of decreased midbrain D2/D3 autoreceptor availability on trait impulsivity is mediated in part through its effect on stimulated striatal DA release.
OBJECTIVE - The authors examined gender differences in d-amphetamine-induced displacements of [(18)F]fallypride in the striatal and extrastriatal brain regions and the correlations of these displacements with cognition and sensation seeking.
METHOD - Six women and seven men underwent positron emission tomography (PET) with [(18)F]fallypride before and after an oral dose of d-amphetamine. Percent displacements were calculated using regions of interest and parametric images of dopamine 2 (D(2)) receptor binding potential.
RESULTS - Parametric images of dopamine release suggest that the female subjects had greater dopamine release than the male subjects in the right globus pallidus and right inferior frontal gyrus. Gender differences were observed in correlations of changes in cognition and sensation seeking with regional dopamine release.
CONCLUSION - Findings revealed a greater dopamine release in women as well as gender differences in the relationship between regional dopamine release and sensation seeking and cognition.
Many psychotropic drugs interfere with the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Transport capacity is regulated by kinase-linked pathways, particularly those involving protein kinase C (PKC), resulting in transporter phosphorylation and sequestration. Phosphorylation and sequestration of the serotonin transporter (SERT) were substantially impacted by ligand occupancy. Ligands that can permeate the transporter, such as serotonin or the amphetamines, prevented PKC-dependent SERT phosphorylation. Nontransported SERT antagonists such as cocaine and antidepressants were permissive for SERT phosphorylation but blocked serotonin effects. PKC-dependent SERT sequestration was also blocked by serotonin. These findings reveal activity-dependent modulation of neurotransmitter reuptake and identify previously unknown consequences of amphetamine, cocaine, and antidepressant action.