, Volume 147, Issue 3, pp 217–249 | Cite as

Radiotracer imaging of dopaminergic transmission in neuropsychiatric disorders

  • Nicolaas Paul L. G. Verhoeff


This article will review the capabilities and accomplishments of radiotracer imaging with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) to measure pre-, post-, and ”intra-synaptic” aspects of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurotransmission. The presynaptic site can be labeled with probes for the dopamine transporter (DAT) or the synthetic enzyme aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (”dopa decarboxylase”). The postsynaptic sites can be labeled with probes for either the dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) or the dopamine D2 receptor (D2R). The ”synaptic” measurements are made indirectly by measurements of the interaction/displacement of receptor tracers by endogenous dopamine (DA). Agents are used which either release (e.g., amphetamine) or deplete (e.g., alpha-methyl-paratyrosine (AMPT), an inhibitor of tyrosine hydroxylase) tissue stores of DA. The application of these paradigms will be reviewed with special emphasis to neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD).

Key words Dopamine Receptor Transporter SPECT PET 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolaas Paul L. G. Verhoeff
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Toronto, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, PET Centre, Clarke Site, Schizophrenia Division, Room 745, 250 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 1R8 e-mail:, Tel.:+1-416-979-4747, Fax: +1-416-979-6936CA

Personalised recommendations