Seasonal changes in brain serotonin transporter binding in short serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region-allele carriers but not in long-allele homozygotes.
ABSTRACT A polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) has been associated with seasonality both in patients with seasonal affective disorder and in the general population.
We used in vivo molecular imaging to measure cerebral serotonin transporter (5-HTT) binding in 57 healthy Scandinavians and related the outcome to season of the year and to the 5-HTTLPR carrier status.
We found that the number of daylight minutes at the time of scanning correlated negatively with 5-HTT binding in the putamen and the caudate, with a similar tendency in the thalamus, whereas this association was not observed for the midbrain. Furthermore, in the putamen, an anatomic region with relatively dense serotonin innervation, we found a significant gene x daylight effect, such that there was a negative correlation between 5-HTT binding and daylight minutes in carriers of the short 5-HTTLPR allele but not in homozygote carriers of the long allele.
Our findings are in line with S-carriers having an increased response in neural circuits involved in emotional processing to stressful environmental stimuli but here demonstrated as a endophenotype with dynamic changes in serotonin reuptake.
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ABSTRACT: A vast number of imaging studies have demonstrated the impact of serotonin (5-HT) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on emotion and memory-related networks in the context of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Underlying molecular mechanisms that affect the functionality of these networks have been examined in detail in animals and corroborate imaging findings. The crucial role of 5-HT and BDNF signaling in the context of MDD is reflected in the etiologic models of MDD such as the monoamine or neuroplasticity hypothesis as well as in pharmacological models of antidepressant response. While antidepressant drug treatment has been primarily linked to the modulation of emotion-related networks, cognitive behavioral therapy has been implicated in a top-down control of limbic structures. Initially, a simple lack of monoamines or BDNF has been proposed as causal factor of MDD etiology. However, recent findings suggest a much more complex neurobiology emphasizing epistatic and epigenetic mechanisms responsible for structural and functional changes observed in emotion and memory-related brain regions of healthy subjects and MDD patients. In this review, which focuses on neuroimaging studies in the context of MDD, the authors will provide a comprehensive overview of these networks as well as on the specific role of 5-HT and BDNF in their development and function.04/2013; 32(1). DOI:10.3233/RNN-139005
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ABSTRACT: The early developments of brain positron emission tomography (PET), including the methodological advances that have driven progress, are outlined. The considerable past achievements of brain PET have been summarized in collaboration with contributing experts in specific clinical applications including cerebrovascular disease, movement disorders, dementia, epilepsy, schizophrenia, addiction, depression and anxiety, brain tumors, drug development, and the normal healthy brain. Despite a history of improving methodology and considerable achievements, brain PET research activity is not growing and appears to have diminished. Assessments of the reasons for decline are presented and strategies proposed for reinvigorating brain PET research. Central to this is widening the access to advanced PET procedures through the introduction of lower cost cyclotron and radiochemistry technologies. The support and expertize of the existing major PET centers, and the recruitment of new biologists, bio-mathematicians and chemists to the field would be important for such a revival. New future applications need to be identified, the scope of targets imaged broadened, and the developed expertize exploited in other areas of medical research. Such reinvigoration of the field would enable PET to continue making significant contributions to advance the understanding of the normal and diseased brain and support the development of advanced treatments.Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 03/2012; 32(7):1426-54. DOI:10.1038/jcbfm.2012.20 · 5.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The serotonin and circadian systems are principal regulatory networks of the brain. Each consists of a unique set of neurons that make widespread neural connections and a defined gene network of transcriptional regulators and signaling genes that subserve serotonergic and circadian function at the genetic level. These master regulatory networks of the brain are extensively intertwined, with reciprocal circuit connections, expression of key genetic elements for serotonin signaling in clock neurons and expression of key clock genes in serotonergic neurons. The reciprocal connections of the serotonin and circadian systems likely have importance for neurobehavioral disorders, as suggested by their convergent contribution to a similar range of mood disorders including seasonal affective disorder (SAD), bipolar disorder, and major depression, and as suggested by their overlapping relationship with the developmental disorder, autism spectrum disorder. Here we review the neuroanatomical and genetic basis for serotonin-circadian interactions in the brain, their potential relationship with neurobehavioral disorders, and recent work examining the effects on the circadian system of genetic perturbation of the serotonergic system as well as the molecular and behavioral effects of developmental imprinting of the circadian system with perinatal seasonal light cycles.Neuroscience 09/2011; 197:8-16. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.09.036 · 3.33 Impact Factor