Original Investigation

Psychopharmacology

, Volume 155, Issue 3, pp 310-314

Reduced serotonin transporter binding in binge eating women

  • Jyrki T. KuikkaAffiliated withDepartments of Clinical Physiology and Neurophysiology, Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
  • , Liisa TammelaAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio and Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
  • , Leila KarhunenAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio and Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
  • , Aila RissanenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, 00029 Helsinki, Finland
  • , Kim A. BergströmAffiliated withDepartments of Clinical Physiology and Neurophysiology, Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
  • , Hannu NaukkarinenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, 00029 Helsinki, Finland
  • , Esko VanninenAffiliated withDepartments of Clinical Physiology and Neurophysiology, Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
  • , Jari KarhuAffiliated withDepartments of Clinical Physiology and Neurophysiology, Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
  • , Raimo LappalainenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Tampere, 33014 Tampere, Finland
    • , Eila Repo-TiihonenAffiliated withDepartment of Forensic Psychiatry, University of Kuopio and Niuvanniemi Hospital, 70240 Kuopio, Finland
    • , Jari TiihonenAffiliated withDepartment of Forensic Psychiatry, University of Kuopio and Niuvanniemi Hospital, 70240 Kuopio, Finland
    • , Matti UusitupaAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio and Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland

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Abstract.

Rationale: There is evidence that abnormalities in brain dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin metabolism may play an important role in binge eating. Serotonin-active antidepressant drugs have also been found to decrease binge eating. Objective: We investigated serotonin transporter binding in obese binge-eating women. Eleven obese binge-eating and seven obese control women participated in the study. The subjects were not taking any medication known to affect serotonin (5-HT) transporters. Methods: We used single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) with the radioligand 123I-labelled nor-β-CIT, which specifically labels 5-HT transporters. Results: Obese binge-eating women showed significantly decreased 5-HT transporter binding in the mid-brain compared with obese controls (2.1±0.5 versus 2.9±0.5, respectively). Conclusions: SPECT imaging with a ligand specific for 5-HT transporters can be used to assess altered serotonin transporter binding in the living human brain. The results tentatively suggest that 5-HT transporter binding is decreased in binge-eating women.

Binge eating Depression Obesity Serotonin SPECT