James Kennedy

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (3)28.48 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: [(18)F]-FEPPA binds to the 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) and is used in positron emission tomography (PET) to detect microglial activation. However, quantitative interpretations of the PET signal with new generation TSPO PET radioligands are confounded by large interindividual variability in binding affinity. This presents as a trimodal distribution, reflecting high-affinity binders (HABs), low-affinity binder (LAB), and mixed-affinity binders (MABs). Here, we show that one polymorphism (rs6971) located in exon 4 of the TSPO gene, which results in a nonconservative amino-acid substitution from alanine to threonine (Ala147Thr) in the TSPO protein, predicts [(18)F]-FEPPA total distribution volume in human brains. In addition, [(18)F]-FEPPA exhibits clearly different features in the shape of the time activity curves between genetic groups. Testing for the rs6971 polymorphism may allow quantitative interpretation of TSPO PET studies with new generation of TSPO PET radioligands.
    Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 04/2012; 32(6):968-72. · 5.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The serotonin transporter (5-HTT)-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) has two frequent alleles, designated long (L), and short (S). The S allele is associated with lower levels of 5-HTT mRNA and lower 5-HTT expression in human cell lines. A functional single nucleotide variant was detected within L, designated L(A) and L(G). Only L(A) is associated with high levels of in vitro 5-HTT expression, whereas L(G) is low expressing and more similar to S. We examined the possible influence of the long (A/G) variant on 5-HTT density in the living human brain using 3-(11)C-amino-4-(2-dimethylaminomethylphenyl-sulfanyl) benzonitrile ([(11)C]DASB) positron emission tomography. The 5-HTT binding potential (5-HTT BP), an index of 5-HTT density, was found in 43 healthy subjects genotyped for 5-HTTLPR long (A/G), and in an ethnically homogenous subsample of 30 Caucasian-Canadians. The L(A)/L(A) was associated with higher 5-HTT BP in putamen (p = .026, not corrected). This association became stronger in the Caucasian subsample (p = .004) and was significant even after correcting for multiple comparisons. The 5-HTTLPR long (A/G) polymorphism influences 5-HTT density leading to higher putamen 5-HTT BP in healthy L(A)/L(A) carriers of Caucasian ancestry. This finding extends the role of this polymorphism from in vitro reports of higher 5-HTT expression with the L(A)/L(A) genotype into in vivo brains of healthy human subjects.
    Biological Psychiatry 09/2007; 62(4):327-31. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although brain serotonin transporter (5-HTT) density has been investigated in subjects with a history of major depressive episodes (MDE), there has never been an investigation of brain 5-HTT during a current MDE. Brain 5-HTT binding potential (BP) may have an important role during MDE due to major depressive disorder, because the 5-HTT regulates extracellular 5-HT. The BP is an index of receptor density. Carbon 11-labeled 3-amino-4-(2-dimethylaminomethyl-phenylsulfanyl)-benzonitrile (DASB) positron emission tomography (PET) is the first brain imaging technique that can measure the 5-HTT BP in cortical and subcortical brain regions in vivo. The purposes of this study were to investigate 5-HTT BP during MDE and to determine the relationship between 5-HTT BP and negativistic dysfunctional attitudes during MDE. Dysfunctional attitudes are negatively biased assumptions and beliefs regarding oneself, the world, and the future. Our recent publication of increased serotonin2 BP in MDE with severely negativistic dysfunctional attitudes suggests that this subgroup of MDE subjects has very low levels of extracellular serotonin. Regional 5-HTT BP was measured in 20 nonsmoking medication-free (> or =3 months) depressed subjects and 20 age-matched nonsmoking, medication-free, healthy subjects using [11C]DASB PET. Dysfunctional attitudes were measured using the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale. No difference in regional 5-HTT BP was found between MDE and healthy subjects; however, the subgroup of MDE subjects with highly negativistic dysfunctional attitudes had significantly higher 5-HTT BP compared with healthy subjects in brain regions mainly sampling serotonergic nerve terminals (prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, thalamus, bilateral caudate, and bilateral putamen; average, 21% greater; F(1,26), 5.6-12.2 [P values, .03-.002]). In the MDE subjects, increased 5-HTT BP was strongly associated with more negativistic dysfunctional attitudes in brain regions primarily sampling serotonergic nerve terminals (prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, thalamus, caudate, and putamen; r = 0.64-0.74 [P values, .003 to <.001]). Serotonin transporters play an important role during depression. The magnitude of regional 5-HTT BP can provide a vulnerability to low levels of extracellular serotonin and symptoms of extremely negativistic dysfunctional attitudes.
    Archives of General Psychiatry 01/2005; 61(12):1271-9. · 13.77 Impact Factor