Serotonin concentration enhancers at clinically relevant doses reduce [ 11 C]AZ10419369 binding to the 5-HT 1B receptors in the nonhuman primate brain

Transl Psychiatry. 2018 Jul 16;8(1):132. doi: 10.1038/s41398-018-0178-7.


The serotonin (5-HT) system plays an important role in the pathophysiology and treatment of several major psychiatric disorders. Currently, no suitable positron emission tomography (PET) imaging paradigm is available to assess 5-HT release in the living human brain. [11C]AZ10419369 binds to 5-HT1B receptors and is one of the most 5-HT-sensitive radioligands available. This study applied 5-HT concentration enhancers which can be safely studied in humans, and examined their effect on [11C]AZ10419369 binding at clinically relevant doses, including amphetamine (1 mg/kg), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 1 mg/kg) or 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP; 5 mg/kg). Twenty-six PET measurements (14 for amphetamine, 6 for MDMA and 6 for 5-HTP) using a bolus and constant infusion protocol were performed in four cynomolgus monkeys before or after drug administration. Binding potential (BPND) values were determined with the equilibrium method (integral interval: 63-123 min) using cerebellum as the reference region. BPND values were significantly decreased in several examined brain regions after administration of amphetamine (range: 19-31%), MDMA (16-25%) or 5-HTP (13-31%). Reductions in [11C]AZ10419369 binding were greater in striatum than cortical regions after administration of 5-HTP, while no prominent regional differences were found for amphetamine and MDMA. In conclusion, [11C]AZ10419369 binding is sensitive to changes in 5-HT concentration induced by amphetamine, MDMA or 5-HTP. The robust changes in BPND, following pretreatment drugs administered at clinically relevant doses, indicate that the applied PET imaging paradigms hold promise to be successfully used in future human studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan / pharmacology*
  • Amphetamine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / pharmacology
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics*
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1B / metabolism*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1B
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan
  • Amphetamine
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine