Original Article

Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 210, Issue 5, pp 519-523

Decreased prefrontal 5-HT2A receptor binding in subjects at enhanced risk for schizophrenia

  • René HurlemannAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of BonnBrain Imaging Center West, Institute of Medicine, Research Center Jülich Email author 
  • , Christian BoyAffiliated withBrain Imaging Center West, Institute of Medicine, Research Center Jülich
  • , Philipp T. MeyerAffiliated withBrain Imaging Center West, Institute of Medicine, Research Center Jülich
  • , Harald ScherkAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of BonnDepartment of Psychiatry, Saarland University Hospital
  • , Michael WagnerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Bonn
  • , Hans HerzogAffiliated withBrain Imaging Center West, Institute of Medicine, Research Center Jülich
  • , Heinz H. CoenenAffiliated withInstitute of Nuclear Chemistry, Research Center Jülich
  • , Kai VogeleyAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of BonnBrain Imaging Center West, Institute of Medicine, Research Center Jülich
  • , Peter FalkaiAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of BonnDepartment of Psychiatry, Saarland University Hospital
    • , Karl ZillesAffiliated withBrain Imaging Center West, Institute of Medicine, Research Center JülichC. & O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research, University of Duesseldorf
    • , Wolfgang MaierAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Bonn
    • , Andreas BauerAffiliated withBrain Imaging Center West, Institute of Medicine, Research Center Jülich

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Abstract

The brain serotonin-2A receptor (5-HT2AR) has been implicated in both the pathology of schizophrenia and the therapeutic action of atypical antipsychotics. However, little is known about the 5-HT2AR status before the onset of schizophrenia and before the exposure to antipsychotics. We used [18F] altanserin and positron emission tomography (PET) in a pilot study of 6 individuals suspected to be at elevated risk for schizophrenia and seven age-matched controls to test the hypothesis that regional 5-HT2AR binding is altered in the prodromal stages of schizophrenia. Distribution volume ratios (DVRs) as a proxy for 5-HT2AR availability were significantly reduced in prefrontal cortex regions of at-risk subjects, implicating early abnormalities of serotonergic neurotransmission that antecede the onset of schizophrenia.

Keywords

Serotonin-2A [(18)F]Altanserin PET At-risk Psychosis Schizophrenia