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Age-related changes in the serotonin transporter (SERT) in the living brains of conscious young (5.9 +/- 1.8 years old) and aged (19.0 +/- 3.3 years old) monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were evaluated in combination with [(11)C](+)McN5652 and its inactive enantiomer [(11)C](-)McN5652 by high-resolution positron emission tomography (PET). For the quantitative analysis of SERT binding in vivo, two serial PET scans with [(11)C](+)McN5652 and [(11)C](-)McN5652 were performed in the same animals in a day and the differences in radioactivities of [(11)C](+)McN5652 vs. [(11)C](-)McN5652 measured from 41-91 min postinjection were calculated as an estimate of specific ligand binding. Higher specific binding of SERT was observed in the thalamus and striatum, regions known to contain high densities of SERT by in vitro assay, with intermediate levels in the pons, hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, and cortical regions and lower levels in the cerebellum in both young and aged monkeys. Almost all regions assayed except the cerebellum showed significant age-related decreases in the specific binding of SERT, which showed reverse correlation with cortisol level in plasma. When the SERT blocker fluvoxamine (1 mg/kg) was administered intravenously 30 min after tracer injection, specific binding of SERT was displaced in both age groups. However, the degree of displacement was more marked in young than in aged monkeys. Cortisol level in plasma was significantly higher in aged than in young animals. These observations demonstrate the usefulness of the combined use of [(11)C](+)McN5652 and [(11)C](-)McN5652 as an indicator for the age-related changes in cortical SERT measured noninvasively by PET. In addition, these observations suggest that the age-related impairment of SERT sensitivity for fluvoxamine might be related to the reduced efficacy of antidepressant therapy in elderly patients with depression. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


T Kakiuchi, H Tsukada, D Fukumoto, S Nishiyama. Effects of aging on serotonin transporter availability and its response to fluvoxamine in the living brain: PET study with [(11)C](+)McN5652 and [(11)C](-)McN5652 in conscious monkeys. Synapse (New York, N.Y.). 2001 Jun 1;40(3):170-9

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PMID: 11304754

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