Increase in prefrontal cortex serotonin2A receptors following estrogen treatment in postmenopausal women

Akira Kugaya, C. Neill Epperson, Sami Zoghbi, Christopher H. Van Dyck, Yankun Hou, Masahiro Fujita, Julie K. Staley, Pradeep K. Garg, John P. Seibyl, Robert B. Innis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

175 Scopus citations


Objective: This study investigated the effect of estrogen on brain serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptors in postmenopausal women and whether there was any correlation of receptor changes with cognition and mood. Method: Ten postmenopausal subjects underwent positron emission tomography measurements of 5-HT2A receptor binding with [18F]deuteroaltanserin before and after estrogen replacement therapy. Results: 5-HT2A receptor binding was significantly increased after estrogen replacement therapy in the right prefrontal cortex (right precentral gyrus [Brodmann's area 9], inferior frontal gyrus [Brodmann's area 47], medial frontal gyrus [Brodmann's area 6, 10] and the anterior cingulate cortex [Brodmann's area 32]). In the inferior frontal gyrus [Brodmann's area 44]), receptor up-regulation was correlated with change in plasma estradiol. Verbal fluency and Trail Making Test performance, but not mood, were significantly improved by estrogen without correlation with receptor changes. Conclusions: Estrogen increases 5-HT 2A receptor binding in human prefrontal regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1522-1524
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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