Publications by authors named "Mandy Drabe"

2 Publications

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The effect of serum BDNF levels on central serotonin transporter availability in obese versus non-obese adults: A [(11)C]DASB positron emission tomography study.

Neuropharmacology 2016 11 22;110(Pt A):530-536. Epub 2016 Apr 22.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany; Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Serotonin (5-HT) and its neurotrophic support system, specifically brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), are thought to modulate energy homeostasis and susceptibility to obesity. Moreover, a polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) in the serotonin reuptake transporter (5-HTT) gene impairs its transcription, thereby altering serotonergic tone and potentially contributing to such susceptibility. This study aims to investigate the effect of BDNF, biallelic 5-HTTLPR, and central in-vivo 5-HTT availability in highly obese versus non-obese subjects using positron emission tomography (PET) and 5-HTT selective [(11)C]DASB.

Methods: Thirty-eight subjects, 24 obese, otherwise mentally and physically healthy, and 14 non-obese healthy controls were included in this study. Parametric images of binding potential were generated from PET data. Central 5-HTT availability, 5-HTTLPR genotype, and serum BDNF concentrations were analyzed, first in a volume of interest, then in a voxel-wise manner.

Results: Overall, our results showed an absence of a linear correlation between BDNF, in-vivo central 5-HTT availability, and body mass index (BMI). 5-HTTLPR genotyping revealed BDNF and hippocampal 5-HTT availability to be negatively correlated (r = -0.57, p = 0.007) in long allelic homozygotes. However, obese subjects exhibited opposing effects of BDNF levels on 5-HTT availability in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) relative to our non-obese controls.

Conclusions: Our data did not confirm an overall correlation between serum BDNF, in-vivo central 5-HTT availability, 5-HTTLPR, and BMI. However, there is evidence that serotonergic tone linked to BDNF, specifically in the NAcc, is involved in the pathophysiology of obesity, although this needs further exploration over a wide range of reward-related eating behaviors.
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November 2016

Central serotonin transporter availability in highly obese individuals compared with non-obese controls: A [(11)C] DASB positron emission tomography study.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2016 Jun 18;43(6):1096-104. Epub 2015 Nov 18.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Leipzig, Liebigstraße 18, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.

Purpose: The role of the central serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) system in feeding has been extensively studied in animals with the 5-HT family of transporters (5-HTT) being identified as key molecules in the regulation of satiety and body weight. Aberrant 5-HT transmission has been implicated in the pathogenesis of human obesity by in vivo positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging techniques. However, results obtained thus far from studies of central 5-HTT availability have been inconsistent, which is thought to be brought about mainly by the low number of individuals with a high body mass index (BMI) previously used. The aim of this study was therefore to assess 5-HTT availability in the brains of highly obese otherwise healthy individuals compared with non-obese healthy controls.

Methods: We performed PET using the 5-HTT selective radiotracer [(11)C] DASB on 30 highly obese (BMI range between 35 and 55 kg/m(2)) and 15 age- and sex-matched non-obese volunteers (BMI range between 19 and 27 kg/m(2)) in a cross-sectional study design. The 5-HTT binding potential (BPND) was used as the outcome parameter.

Results: On a group level, there was no significant difference in 5-HTT BPND in various cortical and subcortical regions in individuals with the highest BMI compared with non-obese controls, while statistical models showed minor effects of age, sex, and the degree of depression on 5-HTT BPND.

Conclusion: The overall finding of a lack of significantly altered 5-HTT availability together with its high variance in obese individuals justifies the investigation of individual behavioral responses to external and internal cues which may further define distinct phenotypes and subgroups in human obesity.
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June 2016