In vivo evidence for the involvement of dopamine D2 receptors in striatum and anterior cingulate gyrus in major depression. (1997)


Neuroimage. 1997 May;5(4 Pt 1):251-60.

Larisch R, Klimke A, Vosberg H, Löffler S, Gaebel W, Müller-Gärtner HW.


Clinic of Nuclear Medicine, University of Düsseldorf, Germany.


The dopaminergic system is a candidate neurotransmitter system thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of depression. This study addresses the issue whether the antidepressant efficacy of serotonin reuptake inhibition is related to changes in the cerebral dopaminergic system. Cerebral dopamine-D2 receptors were characterized in 13 patients with major depression using the dopamine-D2 receptor antagonist iodobenzamide and single photon emission tomography. Dopamine receptor binding was assessed twice, before and during serotonin reuptake inhibition. An increase in dopamine-D2 receptor binding during serotonin reuptake inhibition was found in striatum and anterior cingulate gyrus in treatment responders, but not in nonresponders. The increase in dopamine-D2 receptor binding correlated significantly with clinical recovery from depression as assessed with the Hamilton depression scale (r = 0.59 for right and left striatum respectively, P < 0.05; r = 0.79 for the anterior cingulate gyrus, P < 0.05 after Bonferroni correction). Qualitatively similar correlations were observed in the precentral gyrus, the medial frontal gyrus, the inferior frontal gyrus, and the frontal part of the opercular gyrus, but these correlations failed to reach statistical significance after correction for the effects of multiple testing. No such correlations were found in the superior frontal gyrus, the orbitofrontal gyrus, the gyrus rectus, the superior parietal gyrus, or the superior temporal gyrus. The data strengthen the concept that the striatum and the anterior cingulate gyrus are involved in mood regulation. Dopamine-D2 receptors may constitute a central role in this domain.