Amphetamine-induced dopamine release and neurocognitive function in treatment-naive adults with ADHD.
ABSTRACT: Converging evidence from clinical, preclinical, neuroimaging, and genetic research implicates dopamine neurotransmission in the pathophysiology of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The in vivo neuroreceptor imaging evidence also suggests alterations in the dopamine system in ADHD; however, the nature and behavioral significance of those have not yet been established. Here, we investigated striatal dopaminergic function in ADHD using [(11)C]raclopride PET with a d-amphetamine challenge. We also examined the relationship of striatal dopamine responses to ADHD symptoms and neurocognitive function. A total of 15 treatment-free, noncomorbid adult males with ADHD (age: 29.87 ± 8.65) and 18 healthy male controls (age: 25.44 ± 6.77) underwent two PET scans: one following a lactose placebo and the other following d-amphetamine (0.3 mg/kg, p.o.), administered double blind and in random order counterbalanced across groups. In a separate session without a drug, participants performed a battery of neurocognitive tests. Relative to the healthy controls, the ADHD patients, as a group, showed greater d-amphetamine-induced decreases in striatal [(11)C]raclopride binding and performed more poorly on measures of response inhibition. Across groups, a greater magnitude of d-amphetamine-induced change in [(11)C]raclopride binding potential was associated with poorer performance on measures of response inhibition and ADHD symptoms. Our findings suggest an augmented striatal dopaminergic response in treatment-naive ADHD. Though in contrast to results of a previous study, this finding appears consistent with a model proposing exaggerated phasic dopamine release in ADHD. A susceptibility to increased phasic dopamine responsivity may contribute to such characteristics of ADHD as poor inhibition and impulsivity.
Project description:The social motivation hypothesis of autism posits that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by impaired motivation to seek out social experience early in life that interferes with the development of social functioning. This framework suggests that impaired mesolimbic dopamine function underlies compromised responses to social rewards in ASD. Although this hypothesis is supported by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, no molecular imaging study has evaluated striatal dopamine functioning in response to rewards in ASD. Here, we examined striatal functioning during monetary incentive processing in ASD and controls using simultaneous positron emission tomography (PET) and fMRI. Using a bolus?+?infusion protocol with the D2/D3 dopamine receptor antagonist [<sup>11</sup>C]raclopride, voxel-wise binding potential (BP<sub>ND</sub>) was compared between groups (controls?=?12, ASD?=?10) in the striatum. Striatal clusters showing significant between-group BP<sub>ND</sub> differences were used as seeds in whole-brain fMRI general functional connectivity analyses. Relative to controls, the ASD group demonstrated decreased phasic dopamine release to incentives in the bilateral putamen and left caudate, as well as increased functional connectivity between a PET-derived right putamen seed and the precuneus and insula. Within the ASD group, decreased phasic dopamine release in the putamen was related to poorer theory-of-mind skills. Our findings that ASD is characterized by impaired striatal phasic dopamine release to incentives provide support for the social motivation hypothesis of autism. PET-fMRI may be a suitable tool to evaluate novel ASD therapeutics targeting the striatal dopamine system.
Project description:Dysregulation of the stress response system is a potential etiological factor in the development of and relapse to multiple neuropsychiatric disorders. Previously we reported that repeated intermittent d-amphetamine administration can lead to progressively greater dopamine release, thereby providing evidence of drug-induced neurochemical sensitization. Here, we test the hypothesis that repeated exposure to d-amphetamine increases dopaminergic responses to stress; that is, produces cross-sensitization. Using positron emission tomography, we measured in 17 healthy male volunteers (mean ± s.d. = 22.1 ± 3.4 years) [(11)C]raclopride binding responses to a validated psychosocial stress task before and 2 weeks after a regimen of repeated d-amphetamine (3 × 0.3 mg kg(-1), by mouth; n = 8) or placebo (3 × lactose, by mouth; n = 9). Mood and physiological measurements were recorded throughout each session. Before the d-amphetamine regimen, exposure to the stress task increased behavioral and physiological indices of stress (anxiety, heart rate, cortisol, all P ? 0.05). Following the d-amphetamine regimen, the stress-induced cortisol responses were augmented (P < 0.04), and voxel-based analyses showed larger stress-induced decreases in [(11)C]raclopride non-displaceable binding potential across the striatum. In the placebo group, re-exposure to stress led to smaller clusters of decreased [(11)C]raclopride binding, primarily in the sensorimotor striatum (P < 0.05). Together, this study provides evidence for drug × stress cross-sensitization; moreover, random exposure to stimulants and/or stress cumulatively, while enhancing dopamine release in striatal areas, may contribute to a lowered set point for psychopathologies in which altered dopamine neurotransmission is invoked.
Project description:Attention system abnormalities represent a significant barrier to scholastic achievement in children with neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1). Using a novel mouse model of NF1-associated attention deficit (ADD), we demonstrate a presynaptic defect in striatal dopaminergic homeostasis and leverage this finding to apply [(11)C]-raclopride positron-emission tomography (PET) in the intact animal. While methylphenidate and l-Deprenyl correct both striatal dopamine levels on PET imaging and defective attention system function in Nf1 mutant mice, pharmacologic agents that target de-regulated cyclic AMP and RAS signaling in these mice do not. These studies establish a robust preclinical model to evaluate promising agents for NF1-associated ADD.