Decreased prefrontal 5-HT2A receptor binding in subjects at enhanced risk for schizophrenia
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.
KeywordsSerotonin-2A [(18)F]Altanserin PET At-risk Psychosis Schizophrenia
distribution volume ratio
region of interest
subjects with prodromal states for schizophrenia
This study was part of the German Research Network on Schizophrenia funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Further support was received from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (Klinische Forschergruppe 112 to Karl Zilles and Andreas Bauer) and the International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM). René Hurlemann and Christian Boy contributed equally to the study. The authors thank Julia Berning, David Elmenhorst, and Andreas Matusch for excellent support.
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