Imaging endogenous dopamine competition with [11C]raclopride in the human brain

Nora D. Volkow, Gene‐Jack ‐J Wang, Joanna S. Fowler, Jean Logan, David Schlyer, Robert Hitzemann, Jeffrey Lieberman, Burton Angrist, Naomi Pappas, Robert MacGregor, Gail Burr, Thomas Cooper, Alfred P. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

343 Scopus citations


This study images dopamine release in response to a neurochemically specific challenge with the psychostimulant drug methylphenidate. Changes in synaptic dopamine induced by methylphenidate were evaluated with positron emission tomography and [11C]raclopride, a D2 receptor radioligand that is sensitive to endogenous dopamine. Methylphenidate significantly decreased striatal [11C]raclopride binding. The decrease was variable and was negatively correlated with age. Mood and anxiety at baseline, were also correlated with methylphenidate‐induced DA changes. This strategy provides a tool to investigate the responsiveness of the dopamine system in the normal and diseased human brain and to investigate the neurochemical correlates of behavior. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Methylphenidate
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Receptors
  • Synapse
  • [C]‐Raclopride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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