, Volume 210, Issue 5-6, pp 519-523
Date: 27 Sep 2005

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

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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.