Original Investigation

Psychopharmacology

, Volume 195, Issue 3, pp 315-324

Serotonin transporter binding after recovery from eating disorders

  • Ursula F. BailerAffiliated withWestern Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of PittsburghDepartment of Biological Psychiatry, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Medical University of Vienna
  • , Guido K. FrankAffiliated withWestern Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of PittsburghLaboratory for Developmental Brain Research, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, The Children’s Hospital
  • , Shannan E. HenryAffiliated withWestern Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh
  • , Julie C. PriceAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Presbyterian University Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
  • , Carolyn C. MeltzerAffiliated withWestern Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of PittsburghDepartment of Radiology, Presbyterian University Hospital, School of Medicine, University of PittsburghDepartments of Radiology and Neurology, Emory School of MedicineSchool of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
  • , Carl BeckerAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Presbyterian University Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
  • , Scott K. ZiolkoAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Presbyterian University Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
  • , Chester A. MathisAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Presbyterian University Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
  • , Angela WagnerAffiliated withWestern Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of PittsburghDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, J.W. Goethe University of Frankfurt/Main
    • , Nicole C. Barbarich-MarstellerAffiliated withNew York State Psychiatric Institute, Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Medical Center
    • , Karen PutnamAffiliated withWestern Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of PittsburghDepartment of Environmental Health, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Cincinnati School of Medicine
    • , Walter H. KayeAffiliated withWestern Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of PittsburghPsychiatry, University of California San DiegoSchool of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Email author 

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Abstract

Rationale

Several lines of evidence suggest that altered serotonin (5-HT) function persists after recovery from anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN).

Objectives

We compared 11 subjects who recovered (>1 year normal weight, regular menstrual cycles, no bingeing or purging) from restricting-type AN (REC RAN), 7 who recovered from bulimia-type AN (REC BAN), 9 who recovered from BN (REC BN), and 10 healthy control women (CW).

Materials and methods

Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with [11C]McN5652 was used to assess the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT). For [11C]McN5652, distribution volume (DV) values were determined using a two-compartment, three-parameter tracer kinetic model, and specific binding was assessed using the binding potential (BP, BP = DVregion of interest/DVcerebellum − 1).

Results

After correction for multiple comparisons, the four groups showed significant (p < 0.05) differences for [11C]McN5652 BP values for the dorsal raphe and antero-ventral striatum (AVS). Post-hoc analysis revealed that REC RAN had significantly increased [11C]McN5652 BP compared to REC BAN in these regions.

Conclusions

Divergent 5-HTT activity in subtypes of eating disorder subjects may provide important insights as to why these groups have differences in affective regulation and impulse control.

Keywords

Anorexia nervosa Bulimia nervosa Serotonin transporter Positron emission tomography Serotonin 5-HTTLPR