The pathophysiology of depression is characterized by alterations in the function of the serotonin transporter, which can be elucidated using positron emission tomography (PET).
To validate the use of a new PET ligand for the serotonin transporter and apply it to a preliminary study of transporter binding in untreated, newly-diagnosed patients with unipolar depression in comparison to controls.
The PET imaging was performed using a Siemens/CTI ECAT HR+ tomograph in the 3D mode using the serotonin transporter ligand, [11C]McN5652, with a region of interest analysis that included the raphe nuclei and multiple cortical areas. Results: There is a reduction of binding to the serotonin transporter in all areas analyzed, including the cell body area of the raphe and terminal areas in the cerebral cortex.
NIH MH-61566 Sleep-Guided PET Studies in Depression 2/1/01-1/31/05 $1,000,000
Pittsburgh Foundation PET Studies of Depression in Parkinson's Disease 1/1/99-6/30/02 $150,000