VNTR polymorphism in the SLC6A3 gene does not influence dopamine transporter availability measured by [18F]FE-PE2I PET or [123I]FP-Cit SPECT

Nucl Med Commun. 2022 Mar 1;43(3):247-255. doi: 10.1097/MNM.0000000000001514.


Objective: To investigate the potential impact of polymorphism in the 3'-untranslated region (3'UTR) of the SLC6A3 gene (DAT1) on normal variation in dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging with [18F]FE-PE2I PET and [123I]FP-Cit SPECT.

Methods: Thirty-six individuals (mean age 70.4±5.4 years) with normal [18F]FE-PE2I PET and [123I]FP-Cit SPECT were genotyped for variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) in the 3'UTR of the DAT1 gene. The DAT-availability in the caudate and putamen as measured with [18F]FE-PE2I PET and [123I]FP-Cit SPECT, as well as in the substantia nigra with [18F]FE-PE2I PET were compared between the participants carrying one or two 9-repeat alleles (i.e. 9R+10R or 9R+9R; 47%) and the participants without a 9R allele (i.e. 10R+10R or 10R+11R; 53%). Nonparametric tests, linear regression analysis and mixed model analysis were used to assess any statistical difference in measured DAT availability between the two allele groups.

Results: The measured DAT-availability in PET- and SPECT-imaging tended to be slightly higher in the 9R-group; however, the difference did not reach statistical significance in either the caudate or the putamen or the substantia nigra. Instead, age did have a significant effect on the DAT level (P < 0.05) notwithstanding the genotype.

Conclusion: No significant effect of DAT1-genotype was detectable in imaging with [18F]FE-PE2I PET or [123I]FP-Cit, instead, age accounted for the normal variation in DAT-PET and DAT-SPECT.

MeSH terms

  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins*


  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • SLC6A3 protein, human