Antidepressant treatment effects on dopamine transporter availability in patients with major depression: a prospective I-FP-CIT SPECT imaging genetic study.

J Neural Transm (Vienna) 2018 06 23;125(6):995-1005. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.

We investigated if sleep deprivation (SD) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) affect striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) availability assessed by single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and I-FP-CIT, if dopamine transporter gene (SLC6A3; DAT) variation modifies aforementioned parameters, and if SD response or SD-induced DAT changes correlate with ECT response. Sixteen patients with major depression (MDD) referred for ECT and 12 matched controls were prospectively recruited for imaging and SLC6A3 VNTR genotyping. After withdrawal from any psychiatric medication, I-FP-CIT-SPECT was acquired at baseline, after SD and after ECT series. Striatal DAT availability was assessed by volume-of-interest analysis of SPECT data. Eleven patients underwent combined treatment with SD and ECT (five ECT responders and six non-responders). Per-protocol analyses yielded no significant effect of SD or ECT on striatal DAT availability using repeated-measures ANOVA. However, intention-to-treat analysis indicated a significant decrease of striatal DAT availability due to SD (paired t test, p < 0.01). Stratification by SLC6A3 VNTR genotype suggested the 9R allele to drive this effect. In an exploratory analysis, SD-induced change in DAT availability of the left caudate nucleus predicted ECT response. This study revealed a treatment effect of SD on striatal DAT availability-possibly depending on SLC6A3 VNTR genotype. This and the observed association between SD-induced change of striatal DAT availability and response to ECT may help to identify treatment mechanisms and response predictors useful for precision medicine approaches in the treatment of MDD.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00702-018-1863-7DOI Listing
June 2018
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