Activation of specific cortical regions by apomorphine: an [15O]H2O PET study in humans

Neurosci Lett. 1994 Jul 18;176(1):21-4. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(94)90861-3.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the functional effects of apomorphine, a non-selective dopamine agonist, on regional neuronal activity using regional cerebral blood flow, measured using [15O]H2O and positron emission tomography (PET), as an index. Eight normal volunteers were scanned twice before and twice after receiving 10 micrograms/kg subcutaneous apomorphine. Apomorphine produced the expected side-effects and endocrine response. Analysis of the PET scans revealed that apomorphine increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), presumably reflecting a change in neuronal activity, in the anterior cingulate, ventral motor cortex and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex along with a decrease in rCBF in the retrosplenial cingulate region. These regions form a functional network of brain regions modulated by the dopaminergic system.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apomorphine / pharmacology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurons / diagnostic imaging
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Organ Specificity
  • Oxygen Radioisotopes*
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods


  • Oxygen Radioisotopes
  • Apomorphine