Serotonergic deficits in dementia with Lewy bodies with concomitant Alzheimer's disease pathology: An 123I-FP-CIT SPECT study

Neuroimage Clin. 2020;25:102062. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2019.102062. Epub 2019 Nov 1.


Purpose: To study the influence of concomitant Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) on dopamine transporter (DAT) and serotonin transporter (SERT) availability, using 123I-N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl) nortropane (123I-FP-CIT) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).

Methods: Based on their cerebrospinal fluid biomarker profile, fifty-two patients with probable DLB were divided in a group with (DLB/AD+, N = 15) and without concomitant AD-pathology (DLB/AD-, N = 37). We conducted atrophy-corrected region of interest (ROI) analyses comparing binding ratios (BRs) in the DAT-rich striatal and SERT-rich extrastriatal brain areas (amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, midbrain and pons).

Results: DLB/AD+ patients had significantly lower 123I-FP-CIT BRs in the left amygdala, and a trend was seen in the right hippocampus. Groups did not differ significantly in striatal 123I-FP-CIT BRs, neuropsychiatric or motor symptoms. Motor symptoms correlated negatively with striatal DAT BRs.

Conclusions: DLB/AD+ patients may have lower SERT binding in limbic brain regions than DLB/AD- patients, possibly indicating faster neurodegeneration in mixed pathology.

Keywords: (123)I-FP-CIT SPECT; Alzheime’s disease; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Dopamine transporter; Serotonin transporter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Alzheimer Disease* / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / physiopathology
  • Amygdala / diagnostic imaging
  • Amygdala / metabolism*
  • Comorbidity
  • Corpus Striatum / diagnostic imaging
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism*
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / diagnostic imaging
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lewy Body Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Lewy Body Disease* / metabolism
  • Lewy Body Disease* / pathology
  • Lewy Body Disease* / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*
  • Tropanes / pharmacokinetics*


  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • SLC6A4 protein, human
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Tropanes
  • 2-carbomethoxy-8-(3-fluoropropyl)-3-(4-iodophenyl)tropane