Distribution of D1- and D2-dopamine receptors, and dopamine and its metabolites in the human brain

Neuropsychopharmacology. 1994 Dec;11(4):245-56. doi: 10.1038/sj.npp.1380111.


Densities and distribution of D1-dopamine and D2-dopamine receptors were investigated in vitro using [3H]SCH 23390 and [3H]raclopride in receptor binding assays and autoradiography on human post mortem whole hemisphere slices to serve as anatomical correlates to PET studies using [11C]SCH 23390 and [11C]raclopride. In addition, the levels of dopamine and its metabolites were determined by HPLC in various brain regions. Both dopamine receptor subtypes, as well as dopamine, HVA and DOPAC, were primarily found in the basal ganglia. Very high densities of D1-dopamine receptors were found particularly in the medial caudate nucleus, whereas D2-dopamine receptors were evenly distributed throughout the caudate. The densities of D1- and D2-dopamine receptors were similar in the caudate nucleus and the putamen, whereas there were 4 to 7 times higher densities of the D1- than of the D2-dopamine receptors in several limbic and neocortical regions. The receptor distribution in the autoradiographic study was consistent with that demonstrated in the living human brain using [11C]SCH 23390 and [11C]raclopride.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / analysis*
  • Autoradiography
  • Benzazepines / metabolism
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Butaclamol
  • Dopamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dopamine / analysis*
  • Homovanillic Acid / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Raclopride
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / analysis*
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / analysis*
  • Salicylamides / metabolism
  • Tritium


  • Benzazepines
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2
  • Salicylamides
  • Tritium
  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Raclopride
  • Butaclamol
  • 3-methoxytyramine
  • Dopamine
  • Homovanillic Acid