Document Detail

Brain dopamine and obesity.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11210998     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: The cerebral mechanisms underlying the behaviours that lead to pathological overeating and obesity are poorly understood. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that modulates rewarding properties of food, is likely to be involved. To test the hypothesis that obese individuals have abnormalities in brain dopamine activity we measured the availability of dopamine D2 receptors in brain. METHODS: Brain dopamine D2 receptor availability was measured with positron emission tomography (PET) and [C-11]raclopride (a radioligand for the dopamine D2 receptor). Bmax/Kd (ratio of the distribution volumes in striatum to that in cerebellum minus 1) was used as a measure of dopamine D2 receptor availability. Brain glucose metabolism was also assessed with 2-deoxy-2[18F]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG). FINDINGS: Striatal dopamine D2 receptor availability was significantly lower in the ten obese individuals (2.47 [SD 0.36]) than in controls (2.99 [0.41]; p < or = 0.0075). In the obese individuals body mass index (BMI) correlated negatively with the measures of D2 receptors (r=0.84; p < or = 0.002); the individuals with the lowest D2 values had the largest BMI. By contrast, neither whole brain nor striatal metabolism differed between obese individuals and controls, indicating that striatal reductions in D2 receptors were not due to a systematic reduction in radiotracer delivery. INTERPRETATION: The availability of dopamine D2 receptor was decreased in obese individuals in proportion to their BMI. Dopamine modulates motivation and reward circuits and hence dopamine deficiency in obese individuals may perpetuate pathological eating as a means to compensate for decreased activation of these circuits. Strategies aimed at improving dopamine function may be beneficial in the treatment of obese individuals.
G J Wang; N D Volkow; J Logan; N R Pappas; C T Wong; W Zhu; N Netusil; J S Fowler
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Lancet     Volume:  357     ISSN:  0140-6736     ISO Abbreviation:  Lancet     Publication Date:  2001 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-02-08     Completed Date:  2001-02-22     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985213R     Medline TA:  Lancet     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  354-7     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Medicine, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Brain Mapping
Case-Control Studies
Cerebellum / metabolism*
Corpus Striatum / metabolism*
Glucose / metabolism
Linear Models
Middle Aged
Obesity / metabolism*
Receptors, Dopamine D2 / metabolism*
Tomography, Emission-Computed
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Receptors, Dopamine D2; 50-99-7/Glucose
Comment In:
Lancet. 2001 Jun 9;357(9271):1883   [PMID:  11417577 ]
Lancet. 2001 Jun 9;357(9271):1883   [PMID:  11417578 ]

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