Occupancy of serotonin transporters in the amygdala by paroxetine in association with attenuation of left amygdala activation by negative faces in major depressive disorder.

Marcel Van Herk, Henricus G Ruhé, Michiel Koster, Jan Booij, Marcel van Herk, Dick J Veltman, Aart H Schene

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Amygdala hyperactivation in major depressive disorder (MDD) might be attenuated by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but the working mechanism remains unclear. We hypothesized that higher amygdala serotonin transporter (SERT) occupancy by paroxetine results in greater attenuation of amygdala activation by negative facial expressions in MDD patients. We treated fifteen MDD patients (22-55 years) with paroxetine 20-50mg/day. After 6 and 12 weeks, we quantified (1) clinical response (≥50% decrease in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), (2) SERT occupancy in both amygdala measured by repeated [123I]β-CIT single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and (3) amygdala activation when viewing fearful and angry (negative) faces with repeated functional MRI scans. Response rates were 4/15 and 9/15 at 6 and 12 weeks, respectively. Attenuation of left amygdala activation was associated with amygdala SERT occupancy (P=0.006) and response (P=0.015). This association may provide a rationale for decreased limbic activity seen during treatment of MDD. It might also explain the rapid decrease in negative attentional bias and amygdala activation caused by SSRIs.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPsychiatry Research
    Volume221
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2014

    Keywords

    • Amygdala
    • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
    • Major depressive disorder
    • Paroxetine
    • Serotonin transporter
    • Single photon emission computed tomography

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Occupancy of serotonin transporters in the amygdala by paroxetine in association with attenuation of left amygdala activation by negative faces in major depressive disorder.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this