Document Detail

Brain serotonin and dopamine transporter bindings in adults with high-functioning autism.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20048223     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
CONTEXT: Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by repetitive and/or obsessive interests and behavior and by deficits in sociability and communication. Although its neurobiological underpinnings are postulated to lie in abnormalities of the serotoninergic and dopaminergic systems, the details remain unknown. OBJECTIVE: To determine the occurrence of changes in the binding of serotonin and dopamine transporters, which are highly selective markers for their respective neuronal systems. DESIGN: Using positron emission tomography, we measured the binding of brain serotonin and dopamine transporters in each individual with the radioligands carbon 11 ((11)C)-labeled trans-1,2,3,5,6,10-beta-hexahydro-6-[4-(methylthio)phenyl]pyrrolo-[2,1-a]isoquinoline ([(11)C](+)McN-5652) and 2beta-carbomethoxy-3-beta-(4-fluorophenyl)tropane ([(11)C]WIN-35,428), respectively. Statistical parametric mapping was used for between-subject analysis and within-subject correlation analysis with respect to clinical variables. SETTING: Participants recruited from the community. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty men (age range, 18-26 years; mean [SD] IQ, 99.3 [18.1]) with autism and 20 age- and IQ-matched control subjects. RESULTS: Serotonin transporter binding was significantly lower throughout the brain in autistic individuals compared with controls (P < .05, corrected). Specifically, the reduction in the anterior and posterior cingulate cortices was associated with the impairment of social cognition in the autistic subjects (P < .05, corrected). A significant correlation was also found between repetitive and/or obsessive behavior and interests and the reduction of serotonin transporter binding in the thalamus (P < .05, corrected). In contrast, the dopamine transporter binding was significantly higher in the orbitofrontal cortex of the autistic group (P < .05, corrected in voxelwise analysis). In the orbitofrontal cortex, the dopamine transporter binding was significantly inversely correlated with serotonin transporter binding (r = -0.61; P = .004). CONCLUSIONS: The brains of autistic individuals have abnormalities in both serotonin transporter and dopamine transporter binding. The present findings indicate that the gross abnormalities in these neurotransmitter systems may underpin the neurophysiologic mechanism of autism. Our sample was not characteristic or representative of a typical sample of adults with autism in the community.
Kazuhiko Nakamura; Yoshimoto Sekine; Yasuomi Ouchi; Masatsugu Tsujii; Etsuji Yoshikawa; Masami Futatsubashi; Kenji J Tsuchiya; Genichi Sugihara; Yasuhide Iwata; Katsuaki Suzuki; Hideo Matsuzaki; Shiro Suda; Toshiro Sugiyama; Nori Takei; Norio Mori
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Archives of general psychiatry     Volume:  67     ISSN:  1538-3636     ISO Abbreviation:  Arch. Gen. Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2010 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-01-05     Completed Date:  2010-01-20     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372435     Medline TA:  Arch Gen Psychiatry     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  59-68     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan.
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MeSH Terms
Autistic Disorder / diagnosis,  metabolism*,  radionuclide imaging
Biological Markers / metabolism
Brain / metabolism*,  radionuclide imaging
Brain Mapping
Carbon Radioisotopes / diagnostic use
Dopamine / metabolism
Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
Isoquinolines / diagnostic use
Membrane Transport Proteins
Positron-Emission Tomography / statistics & numerical data
Serotonin / metabolism
Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Biological Markers; 0/Carbon Radioisotopes; 0/Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins; 0/Isoquinolines; 0/Membrane Transport Proteins; 0/Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins; 50-67-9/Serotonin; 96795-90-3/McN 5652

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