Increased Dopamine D2/D3 Receptor Binding After Recovery from Anorexia Nervosa Measured by Positron Emission Tomography and [11C]Raclopride

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 10.26). 01/2006; 58(11):908-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.05.003
Source: PubMed


Several lines of evidence support the possibility that disturbances of dopamine (DA) function could contribute to alterations of weight, feeding, motor activity, and reward in anorexia nervosa (AN).
To assess possibly trait-related disturbances but avoid confounding effects of malnutrition, 10 women who were recovered from AN (REC AN) were compared with 12 healthy control women (CW). Positron emission tomography with [(11)C]raclopride was used to assess DA D2/D3 receptor binding.
The women who were recovered from AN had significantly higher [(11)C]raclopride binding potential in the antero-ventral striatum than CW. For REC AN, [(11)C]raclopride binding potential was positively related to harm avoidance in the dorsal caudate and dorsal putamen.
These data lend support for the possibility that decreased intrasynaptic DA concentration or increased D2/D3 receptor density or affinity is associated with AN and might contribute to the characteristic harm avoidance or increased physical activity found in AN. Most intriguing is the possibility that individuals with AN might have a DA related disturbance of reward mechanisms contributing to altered hedonics of feeding behavior and their ascetic, anhedonic temperament.

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    • "M age ~27 ↑BP Anterior cingulate; Superior temporal gyrus BN (n = 8) > controls (n = 8) M age ~27 ↓BP Midbrain; Superior and inferior cingulate BN (n = 8) < controls (n = 8) Dopamine system D2/D3 receptor Frank et al., 2005 M age ~25 ↑BP Antero-ventral striatum; Ventral putamen a ; Dorsal caudate a ; Middle caudate a AN (n = 10) > controls (n = 12) "
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    • "These studies revealed a predominant imbalance between the reward and inhibition systems of the brain, which are hallmark characteristics of the disorder. Recovered AN patients show increased dopamine receptor availability ( Frank et al., 2005 ) and also functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies point to dopamine dysfunction by discovering hypoactivity of striatal regions in response to pleasurable stimuli ( Kaye et al., 2009 ). This resulted in the notion that AN patients suffer from general anhedonia unable to experience pleasure. "
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