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Theories of adult brain development, based on neuropsychological test results and structural neuroimaging, suggest differential rates of age-related change in function across cortical and subcortical sub-regions. However, it remains unclear if these trends also extend to the aging dopamine system. Here we examined cross-sectional adult age differences in estimates of D2-like receptor binding potential across several cortical and subcortical brain regions using PET imaging and the radiotracer [ F]Fallypride in two samples of healthy human adults (combined N = 132). After accounting for regional differences in overall radioligand binding, estimated percent difference in receptor binding potential by decade (linear effects) were highest in most temporal and frontal cortical regions (~6-16% per decade), moderate in parahippocampal gyrus, pregenual frontal cortex, fusiform gyrus, caudate, putamen, thalamus, and amygdala (~3-5%), and weakest in subcallosal frontal cortex, ventral striatum, pallidum, and hippocampus (~0-2%). Some regions showed linear effects of age while many showed curvilinear effects such that binding potential declined from young adulthood to middle age and then was relatively stable until old age. Overall, these data indicate that the rate and pattern of decline in D2 receptor availability is regionally heterogeneous. However, the differences across regions were challenging to organize within existing theories of brain development and did not show the same pattern of regional change that has been observed in gray matter volume, white matter integrity, or cognitive performance. This variation suggests that existing theories of adult brain development may need to be modified to better account for the spatial dynamics of dopaminergic system aging.
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
We tested the interactions with four different G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) of arrestin-3 mutants with substitutions in the four loops, three of which contact the receptor in the structure of the arrestin-1-rhodopsin complex. Point mutations in the loop at the distal tip of the N-domain (Glu157Ala), in the C-loop (Phe255Ala), back loop (Lys313Ala), and one of the mutations in the finger loop (Gly65Pro) had mild variable effects on receptor binding. In contrast, the deletion of Gly65 at the beginning of the finger loop reduced the binding to all GPCRs tested, with the binding to dopamine D2 receptor being affected most dramatically. Thus, the presence of a glycine at the beginning of the finger loop appears to be critical for the arrestin-receptor interaction.
We have synthesized 3 analogs of the dopamine D2 receptor (D2 DR) antagonist spiperone that can be conjugated to streptavidin-coated quantum dots via a pegylated biotin derivative. Using fluorescent imaging we demonstrate that substitution on the spiro position is tolerated, whilst the length and rigidity of a spacer arm attached to spiperone is important in controlling specific labeling as well as minimizing nonspecific labeling to cells and the surface of cell culture dishes. The ligand with the most rigid linker IDT772 (4) had the best binding profile and had high specific binding to D2 DR expressing HEK-293T cells with low nonspecific binding to plates and HEK-293T cells that lacked the D2 DR.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Some people are more willing to make immediate, risky, or costly reward-focused choices than others, which has been hypothesized to be associated with individual differences in dopamine (DA) function. In two studies using PET imaging, one empirical (Study 1: = 144 males and females across 3 samples) and one meta-analytic (Study 2: = 307 across 12 samples), we sought to characterize associations between individual differences in DA and time, probability, and physical effort discounting in human adults. Study 1 demonstrated that individual differences in DA D2-like receptors were not associated with time or probability discounting of monetary rewards in healthy humans, and associations with physical effort discounting were inconsistent across adults of different ages. Meta-analytic results for temporal discounting corroborated our empirical finding for minimal effect of DA measures on discounting in healthy individuals but suggested that associations between individual differences in DA and reward discounting depend on clinical features. Addictions were characterized by negative correlations between DA and discounting, but other clinical conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, obesity, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, were characterized by positive correlations between DA and discounting. Together, the results suggest that trait differences in discounting in healthy adults do not appear to be strongly associated with individual differences in D2-like receptors. The difference in meta-analytic correlation effects between healthy controls and individuals with psychopathology suggests that individual difference findings related to DA and reward discounting in clinical samples may not be reliably generalized to healthy controls, and vice versa. Decisions to forgo large rewards for smaller ones due to increasing time delays, uncertainty, or physical effort have been linked to differences in dopamine (DA) function, which is disrupted in some forms of psychopathology. It remains unclear whether alterations in DA function associated with psychopathology also extend to explaining associations between DA function and decision making in healthy individuals. We show that individual differences in DA D2 receptor availability are not consistently related to monetary discounting of time, probability, or physical effort in healthy individuals across a broad age range. By contrast, we suggest that psychopathology accounts for observed inconsistencies in the relationship between measures of DA function and reward discounting behavior.
Copyright © 2019 Castrellon et al.
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.
OBJECTIVE - We have previously demonstrated that insulin signaling, through the downstream signaling kinase Akt, is a potent modulator of dopamine transporter (DAT) activity, which fine-tunes dopamine (DA) signaling at the synapse. This suggests a mechanism by which impaired neuronal insulin receptor signaling, a hallmark of diet-induced obesity, may contribute to impaired DA transmission. We tested whether a short-term (two-week) obesogenic high-fat (HF) diet could reduce striatal Akt activity, a marker of central insulin, receptor signaling and blunt striatal and dopaminergic network responsiveness to amphetamine (AMPH).
METHODS - We examined the effects of a two-week HF diet on striatal DAT activity in rats, using AMPH as a probe in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) assay, and mapped the disruption in AMPH-evoked functional connectivity between key dopaminergic targets and their projection areas using correlation and permutation analyses. We used phosphorylation of the Akt substrate GSK3α in striatal extracts as a measure of insulin receptor signaling. Finally, we confirmed the impact of HF diet on striatal DA D2 receptor (D2R) availability using [18F]fallypride positron emission tomography (PET).
RESULTS - We found that rats fed a HF diet for only two weeks have reductions in striatal Akt activity, a marker of decreased striatal insulin receptor signaling and blunted striatal responsiveness to AMPH. HF feeding also reduced interactions between elements of the mesolimbic (nucleus accumbens-anterior cingulate) and sensorimotor circuits (caudate/putamen-thalamus-sensorimotor cortex) implicated in hedonic feeding. D2R availability was reduced in HF-fed animals.
CONCLUSION - These studies support the hypothesis that central insulin signaling and dopaminergic neurotransmission are already altered after short-term HF feeding. Because AMPH induces DA efflux and brain activation, in large part via DAT, these findings suggest that blunted central nervous system insulin receptor signaling through a HF diet can impair DA homeostasis, thereby disrupting cognitive and reward circuitry involved in the regulation of hedonic feeding.
The growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR) and dopamine receptor (D2R) have been shown to oligomerize in hypothalamic neurons with a significant effect on dopamine signaling, but the molecular processes underlying this effect are still obscure. We used here the purified GHSR and D2R to establish that these two receptors assemble in a lipid environment as a tetrameric complex composed of two each of the receptors. This complex further recruits G proteins to give rise to an assembly with only two G protein trimers bound to a receptor tetramer. We further demonstrate that receptor heteromerization directly impacts on dopamine-mediated Gi protein activation by modulating the conformation of its α-subunit. Indeed, association to the purified GHSR:D2R heteromer triggers a different active conformation of Gαi that is linked to a higher rate of GTP binding and a faster dissociation from the heteromeric receptor. This is an additional mechanism to expand the repertoire of GPCR signaling modulation that could have implications for the control of dopamine signaling in normal and physiopathological conditions.
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.