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Dopamine release in chronic cannabis users: a [11c]raclopride positron emission tomography study.
Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Apr 15; 71(8):677-83.BP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Low striatal dopamine 2/3 receptor (D(2/3)) availability and low ventrostriatal dopamine (DA) release have been observed in alcoholism and cocaine and heroin dependence. Less is known about the dopaminergic system in cannabis dependence. We assessed D(2/3) availability and DA release in abstinent cannabis users compared with control subjects and explored relationships to cannabis use history using [(11)C]raclopride positron emission tomography and an amphetamine challenge paradigm.

METHODS

Sixteen recently abstinent, psychiatrically healthy cannabis-using participants (27.3 ± 6.1 years, 1 woman, 15 men) and 16 matched control subjects (28.1 ± 6.7 years, 2 women, 14 men) completed two positron emission tomography scans, before and after injection of intravenous d-amphetamine (.3 mg/kg). Percent change in [(11)C]raclopride binding after amphetamine (change in nondisplaceable binding potential, ΔBP(ND)) in subregions of the striatum was compared between groups. Correlations with clinical parameters were examined.

RESULTS

Cannabis users had an average consumption of 517 ± 465 estimated puffs per month, indicating mild to moderate cannabis dependence. Neither baseline BP(ND) nor ΔBP(ND) differed from control subjects in any region of interest, including ventral striatum. In cannabis-dependent subjects, earlier age of onset of use correlated with lower [ΔBP(ND)] in the associative striatum when controlling for current age.

CONCLUSIONS

Unlike other addictions, cannabis dependence of mild to moderate severity is not associated with striatal DA alterations. However, earlier or longer duration of use is related to lower DA release in the associative striatum. These observations suggest a more harmful effect of use during adolescence; more research is needed to distinguish effects of chronicity versus onset.

Authors+Show Affiliations

New York State PsychiatricInstitute, Department of Psychiatry, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032, USA. nu2118@columbia.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22290115

Citation

Urban, Nina B L., et al. "Dopamine Release in Chronic Cannabis Users: a [11c]raclopride Positron Emission Tomography Study." Biological Psychiatry, vol. 71, no. 8, 2012, pp. 677-83.
Urban NB, Slifstein M, Thompson JL, et al. Dopamine release in chronic cannabis users: a [11c]raclopride positron emission tomography study. Biol Psychiatry. 2012;71(8):677-83.
Urban, N. B., Slifstein, M., Thompson, J. L., Xu, X., Girgis, R. R., Raheja, S., Haney, M., & Abi-Dargham, A. (2012). Dopamine release in chronic cannabis users: a [11c]raclopride positron emission tomography study. Biological Psychiatry, 71(8), 677-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.12.018
Urban NB, et al. Dopamine Release in Chronic Cannabis Users: a [11c]raclopride Positron Emission Tomography Study. Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Apr 15;71(8):677-83. PubMed PMID: 22290115.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Dopamine release in chronic cannabis users: a [11c]raclopride positron emission tomography study. AU - Urban,Nina B L, AU - Slifstein,Mark, AU - Thompson,Judy L, AU - Xu,Xiaoyan, AU - Girgis,Ragy R, AU - Raheja,Sonia, AU - Haney,Margaret, AU - Abi-Dargham,Anissa, Y1 - 2012/01/29/ PY - 2011/10/27/received PY - 2011/12/19/revised PY - 2011/12/20/accepted PY - 2012/2/1/entrez PY - 2012/2/1/pubmed PY - 2012/8/17/medline SP - 677 EP - 83 JF - Biological psychiatry JO - Biol Psychiatry VL - 71 IS - 8 N2 - BACKGROUND: Low striatal dopamine 2/3 receptor (D(2/3)) availability and low ventrostriatal dopamine (DA) release have been observed in alcoholism and cocaine and heroin dependence. Less is known about the dopaminergic system in cannabis dependence. We assessed D(2/3) availability and DA release in abstinent cannabis users compared with control subjects and explored relationships to cannabis use history using [(11)C]raclopride positron emission tomography and an amphetamine challenge paradigm. METHODS: Sixteen recently abstinent, psychiatrically healthy cannabis-using participants (27.3 ± 6.1 years, 1 woman, 15 men) and 16 matched control subjects (28.1 ± 6.7 years, 2 women, 14 men) completed two positron emission tomography scans, before and after injection of intravenous d-amphetamine (.3 mg/kg). Percent change in [(11)C]raclopride binding after amphetamine (change in nondisplaceable binding potential, ΔBP(ND)) in subregions of the striatum was compared between groups. Correlations with clinical parameters were examined. RESULTS: Cannabis users had an average consumption of 517 ± 465 estimated puffs per month, indicating mild to moderate cannabis dependence. Neither baseline BP(ND) nor ΔBP(ND) differed from control subjects in any region of interest, including ventral striatum. In cannabis-dependent subjects, earlier age of onset of use correlated with lower [ΔBP(ND)] in the associative striatum when controlling for current age. CONCLUSIONS: Unlike other addictions, cannabis dependence of mild to moderate severity is not associated with striatal DA alterations. However, earlier or longer duration of use is related to lower DA release in the associative striatum. These observations suggest a more harmful effect of use during adolescence; more research is needed to distinguish effects of chronicity versus onset. SN - 1873-2402 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22290115/Dopamine_release_in_chronic_cannabis_users:_a_[11c]raclopride_positron_emission_tomography_study_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -