Nonhuman primate models of addiction and PET imaging: dopamine system dysregulation

Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2012;11:25-44. doi: 10.1007/7854_2011_168.


This chapter highlights the use of nonhuman primate models of cocaine addiction and the use of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to study the role of individual differences in vulnerability and how environmental and pharmacological variables can impact cocaine abuse. The chapter will describe studies related to the dopamine (DA) neurotransmitter system, and focus primarily on the D2-like DA receptor, the DA transporter and the use of fluorodeoxyglucose to better understand the neuropharmacology of cocaine abuse. The use of nonhuman primates allows for within-subject, longitudinal studies that have provided insight into the human condition and serve as an ideal model of translational research. The combination of nonhuman primate behavior, pharmacology and state-of-the-art brain imaging using PET will provide the foundation for future studies aimed at developing behavioral and pharmacological treatments for drug addiction in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Primates
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / pathology*


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Dopamine