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Deutschländer, Angela; la Fougère, Christian; Boetzel, Kai; Albert, Nathalie L.; Gildehaus, Franz-Josef; Bartenstein, Peter; Xiong, Guoming; Cumming, Paul (2016): Occupancy of pramipexole (Sifrol) at cerebral dopamine D2/3 receptors in Parkinson's disease patients. In: Neuroimage: Clinical, Vol. 12: S. 41-46


Whereas positron emission tomography (PET) with the antagonist ligand [F-18] fallypride reveals the composite of dopamine D2 and D3 receptors in brain, treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD) patientswith the D3-prefering agonist pramipexole should result in preferential occupancy in the nucleus accumbens, where the D3-subtype is most abundant. To test this prediction we obtained pairs of [18F] fallypride PET recordings in a group of nine PD patients, first in a condition of treatment as usual with pramipexole (ON-Sifrol;3 x 0.7 mg p.d.), and again at a later date, after withholding pramipexole 48-72 h (OFF-Sifrol);in that condition the serumpramipexole concentration had declined by 90% and prolactin levels had increased four-fold, in conjunction with a small but significant worsening of PD motor symptoms. Exploratory comparison with historical control material showed 14% higher dopamine D2/3 availability in the more-affected putamen of patients OFF medication. On-Sifrol there was significant (p. 0.01) occupancy at [F-18] fallypride binding sites in globus pallidus (8%) thalamus (9%) and substantia nigra (19%), as well as marginally significant occupancy in frontal and temporal cortex of patients. Contrary to expectation, comparison of ON-and OFF-Sifrol results did not reveal any discernible occupancy in nucleus accumbens, or elsewhere in the extended striatum;present methods should be sensitive to a 10% change in dopamine D2/3 receptor availability in striatum;the significant findings elsewhere in the basal ganglia and in cerebral cortex are consistent with a predominance of D3 receptors in those structures, especially in substantia nigra, and imply that therapeutic effects of pramipexole may be obtained at sites outside the extended striatum. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.