PET [11C]DASB imaging of serotonin transporters in patients with alcoholism

Amira K. Brown, David T. George, Masahiro Fujita, Jeih San Liow, Masanori Ichise, Joseph Hibbeln, Subroto Ghose, Janet Sangare, Daniel Hommer, Robert B. Innis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Objective: Alcoholism and aggression have each been associated with neurochemical measurements suggestive of decreased serotonin synaptic transmission. We measured densities of the serotonin transporter (SERT) in a moderate-sized sample of alcoholic patients who were assessed for aggressive characteristics. Methods: Thirty alcoholic inpatients and 18 healthy controls received a PET scan with [11C]-3-amino-4-(2- dimethylaminomethylphenylsulfanyl)-benzonitrile. The alcoholic inpatients were classified as aggressive or nonaggressive based on a comparison between the top third and bottom third scores on the Buss-Durkee Hostility Index. Results: Using a pixel-wise comparison, no brain region showed significant alterations in SERT binding among the 3 groups of subjects (aggressive alcoholic subjects, nonaggressive alcoholic subjects, and healthy controls) or between the combined alcoholic group and healthy controls. None of the clinical measures (including measures of aggression) correlated with SERT binding in the alcoholic subjects. Conclusion: Contrary to prior imaging reports using the nonselective ligand [123I]β-CIT, we found no significant alterations of SERT density in alcoholic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-32
Number of pages5
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Aggression
  • Alcoholism
  • Parametric Imaging
  • Positron Emission Tomography
  • Serotonin Transporter
  • [ C]DASB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'PET [11C]DASB imaging of serotonin transporters in patients with alcoholism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this