A 20% decrease in 5-HT1B binding potential in the ventral striatum and pallidum of patients with depression has been reported, suggesting there may be kinase inhibitor Vorinostat abnormalities in other autoreceptors in MDD as well.86 5-HTT has also been a focus of investigation in MDD, particularly because of the importance of serotonin transporter inhibitors in the treatment of MDD. The development of radiotracers such as [11C]DASB that have a high ratio of specific binding to serotonin transporters relative to nonspecific binding has facilitated research into serotonin transporter function in MDD. Though there are some conflicting results,87-89 the majority of neuroreceptor imaging Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical studies with
[11C]DASB have found decreased 5-HTT binding in patients with MDD.90-93 This Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical is supported by a recent meta-analysis that found a reduction in serotonin transporter availability in MDD with a medium effect size (unpublished data). The finding that depressed suicide attempters had lower 5-HTT binding compared with depressed nonattempters and control subjects94 suggests that 5-HTT reductions are greater in patients with more severe illness. PET
studies have also found evidence for alterations affecting one Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of the enzymes that break down monoamines. Specifically the density of monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) has been found to be elevated in MDD,95,96 suggesting that the metabolism of monoamines is increased in MDD. Based on this, Meyer et al95 hypothesized that the increased density of MAO-A in depression is the primary driver of reduced monoaminergic signal transduction in MDD. This suggests that dopaminergic and norepinephrinergic systems will be affected as well. There is some Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical evidence on the dopaminergic system in MDD, showing slight decreases or no change in D1 and D2 receptor density, and a decrease in dopamine transporter binding.97-99 However, the paucity of radiotracers for the norepinephrine
system has limited investigation of this system in MDD, though some tracers for imaging norepinephrine transporter100,101 and adrenergic receptors102 are under development. A major limit on understanding the Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical role of serotonin in MDD has been that it has not been possible to index changes in serotonin levels in the brain. There is, however, emerging evidence that some serotonin receptor tracers Brefeldin_A are sensitive to changes in serotonin levels,103-105 which promises to provide a means of testing this crucial aspect of serotonergic function. The most widely used pharmacological treatments for depression are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Evaluation of 5-HTT binding of radiotracers with therapeutic doses of SSRIs shows an occupancy ranging from 65% to 87%.106 In contrast to the case of antipsychotic drugs, the relationship between the occupancy and response still remain undefined and the clinical efficacy does not seem to correspond to dose increases.