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PET measurement of the influence of corticosteroids on serotonin-1A receptor number

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Allan Young


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Background: The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and serotonergic system interact functionally. The modulatory effect of corticosteroids on 5-HT1A receptor number and function has been repeatedly demonstrated in preclinical studies suggesting that raised corticosteroid levels decrease 5-HT1A receptor number and function in the hippocampus. Methods: We used positron emission tomography (PET) to quantify the number of 5-HT1A receptors in two studies, the first in normal subjects given a single dose of hydrocortisone using a random-order, double-blind, placebo-controlled design and second in patients treated long-term with corticosteroids. Results: We did not find that exposure to elevated levels of corticosteroids in either the short or long term alters 5-HT1A receptor binding in the hippocampus or other brain regions examined. Conclusions: This study does not support the hypothesis that corticosteroids exert a major inhibitory regulatory control over the 5-HT1A receptor binding in the human brain. (C) 2001 Society of Biological Psychiatry.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Young AH; Montgomery AJ; Bench CJ; Hammers A; Gunn RN; Bhagwagar ZB; Grasby PM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biological Psychiatry

Year: 2001

Volume: 50

Issue: 9

Pages: 668-676

ISSN (print): 0006-3223

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2402

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3223(01)01205-7


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