, Volume 92, Issue 3, pp 278-284

PET analysis of human dopamine receptor subtypes using 11C-SCH 23390 and 11C-raclopride

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Abstract

Tracer doses of 11C-SCH 23390 and 11C-raclopride, selective D1-dopamine and D2-dopamine receptor antagonists, respectively, were injected intravenously into three healthy male volunteers and two drug-treated schizophrenic patients. Regional radioactivity in brain and plasma was followed during 1 h by positron emission tomography (PET). After injection of both ligands a high accumulation of radioactivity was observed in the dopamine-rich caudate putamen. Experiments with 11C-SCH 23390, but not 11C-raclopride, showed a conspicuous accumulation of radioactivity also in the neocortex. None of the ligands accumulated in the dopamine-poor cerebellum. Specific binding of 11C-raclopride in the putamen was reduced by more than 80% in schizophrenic patients treated with antipsychotic doses of sulpiride or cis(Z)-flupentixol decanoate. 11C-SCH 23390 binding was slightly reduced in both the cortex and the putamen after treatment with cis(Z)-flupentixol decanoate but not after sulpiride. The results indicate that clinical antipsychotic drug treatment with sulpiride and cis(Z)-flupentixol decanoate causes a substantial blockade of D2-dopamine receptors in the basal ganglia but has only a minor effect on D1-dopamine receptors.