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Serotonergic neurotransmission plays a key role in seasonal changes of mood and behaviour. Higher serotonin transporter availability in healthy human subjects in times of lesser light has been reported in recent studies. Furthermore, seasonal alterations of postsynaptic serotonin-1A receptors have been suggested by a recent animal study. Following that, this study aimed at identifying seasonal alterations of serotonin-1A receptor binding in the living human brain.
Thirty-six healthy, drug-naïve subjects were investigated using PET and the specific tracer [carbonyl-11C]WAY-100635. Regional serotonin-1A receptor binding (5-HT1A BPND) was related to the individual exposure to global radiation. Furthermore, the subjects were divided into two groups depending on individual exposure to global radiation, and the group differences in regional 5-HT1A BPND were determined.
Correlation analysis controlled for age and gender revealed highly significant positive correlations between regional postsynaptic 5-HT1A BPND and global radiation accumulated for 5 days (r=.32 to .48, p=.030 to .002). Highly significant differences in 5-HT1A BPND binding between subjects with low compared to high exposure to global radiation were revealed (T=-2.63 to -3.77, p .013 to .001). 20% to 30% lower 5-HT1A BPND was found in the subject group exposed to lower amount of global radiation.
Seasonal factors such as exposure to global radiation influence postsynaptic serotonin-1A receptor binding in various brain regions in healthy human subjects. In combination with seasonal alterations in serotonin turnover and 5-HTT availability revealed in recent studies, our results provide an essential contribution of molecular mechanisms in seasonal changes of human serotonergic neurotransmission.
Regional alterations of serotonergic neurotransmission and functional activation in the amygdalar region of patients with major depression are underpinning its important role in affective disorders. In this study we used fMRI and PET to describe functional and molecular alterations associtated with an astrocytoma in the left amygdalar region in a patient with organic depressive disorder compared to control subjects.
The serotonin-1A (5-HT1A) receptor binding (BPND) was quantified with PET (30 frames, 90 min, 4.4 mm FWHM) in 36 subjects using the radioligand [carbonyl-11C]WAY-100635, and a reference tissue model (MRTM2). In fMRI (3T, EPI inplane resolution 1.6*2.7 mm, 10 AC-PC orientated slices, ST = 3 mm, TE/TR = 31/1000 ms), 32 participants performed emotion discrimination and sensorimotor control tasks. Statistical analysis with SPM5 and unpaired t-tests were performed on molecular and functional data separately.
The astrocytoma was delineated in the serotonin-1A receptor distribution showing (p < 0.01, uncorrected) regional BPND decrease. The ipsilateral thalamus and bilateral habenula regions displayed (p < 0.001; uncorrected) BPND increase. The fMRI data showed significantly (p < 0.05; uncorrected) reduced activation in the affected amygdalar region, ipsilateral fusiform gyrus, bilateral orbitofrontal cortex and temporal regions and increased activation in the contralateral temporal pole.
Lower serotonin-1A receptor binding in the left amydala region reflects the glial provenance of the tumor. The increased receptor binding in the habenulae might be associated with altered monoaminergic neurotransmission and depressive symptoms according to the influence of the habenulae on monoaminergic nuclei. The functional data demonstrate neuroplastic changes beyond affected areas and might indicate compensatory mechanisms.
Based on evidences in molecular neuroimaging, postmortem and genetic studies, impaired serotonergic neurotransmission has been implicated with affective disorders. Moreover, a growing number of evidences showed strong interrelations within the serotonergic system suggesting a common mechanism in the modulation of receptor and transporter densities.
Here we directly investigated the regional expression of the 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A and 5-HTT using PET and the three highly selective and specific radioligands [carbonyl-11C]WAY-100635, [18F]Altanserin and [11C]DASB in healthy subjects.
A total of 55 healthy subjects (5-HT1A: 36 subjects, 18 males, age = 26.0 ± 4.9; 5-HT2A: 19 subjects, 11 males, age = 28.2 ± 5.9; 5-HTT: 8 males, age = 28.12 ± 3.6) were included in this study. Binding potential (BPND) values were quantified according to the AAL parcellation scheme.
BPND values averaged over both hemispheres ranged from 0.40–6.35 for the 5-HT1A receptor; 0.01–2.01 for the 5-HT2A receptor and 0.09–2.05 for the 5-HTT, respectively. There was a specific topological pattern according to the ratio between the 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A receptors and 5-HTT (“fingerprints”).
Such information can be essential for detecting potential local alterations in the ratio between different binding proteins on a network level in pathological conditions.
Moreover, these data might provide further insight in area-specific effects of frequently prescribed selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI):
1) due to the distinct local receptor and transporter availability;
2) SSRI application alters the postsynaptic receptor expression and thus;
3) leads to a modified interaction of inhibitory and exhibitory receptors.
Alterations of the serotonin-1A receptor (5-HT1A) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis have been reported in depression and anxiety disorders. We previously showed a strong negative correlation between cortisol plasma levels and 5-HT1A receptor binding potential (BP) in patients with social anxiety disorder but not in healthy controls using PET .
To investigate the relationship of cortisol and the 5-HT1A BP in postmenopausal women, a population that is at increased risk of suffering from depressive symptoms.
Subjects: 19 postmenopausal women, aged 55.26 ± 4.98, medication free, no current substance abuse or hormone replacement therapy.
Dynamic measurements (50 frames, 90 min) were performed using the radioligand [carbonyl-11C]WAY100635 and a GE-Advance scanner. PET data were normalized to a ligand-specific template . Regions-of-interest (ROI) were defined as given in . TACs within ROIs were averaged and the 5-HT1A receptor BP was quantified using Logan-plot and PMOD 3.1. Measurement of total cortisol plasma levels was done using electrochemoluminescence.
We found negative correlations between cortisol and 5-HT1A BP in the midbrain (Spearman's rs = −0.54, p = 0.02), the median raphe nucleus (rs = −0.47, p = 0.04) and the nucleus accumbens (rs = −0.505, p = 0.03).
In line with our previous findings , the observed negative association between cortisol plasma levels and 5-HT1A BP might reflect an increased vulnerability for mood disorders in postmenopausal women.
The subgenual part of the anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) has been frequently reported to be structurally and cytoarchitectually changed in major depressive disorder (MDD) and is also a promising target in deep brain stimulation in treatment-resistant MDD. Furthermore, substantial evidence demonstrates a high density of serotonin-1A (5-HT1A) receptors in the sgACC, a key area involved in emotional processing.
Here, we investigated the relationship between the 5-HT1A receptor in the sgACC and changes in regional grey matter volume with voxel-based morphometry.
PET ([carbonyl-11C]WAY-100635) was used to quantify 5-HT1A receptor binding (BPND) together with structural magnetic resonance images from 32 healthy subjects (mean 26.68 ± 5.1 years; 17 women). Regression analysis was performed in SPM8 (p < .001 uncorr.) using sgACC 5-HT1A BPND as regressor, controlling for sex, age and total grey matter volume (GMV).
5-HT1A BPND in the sgACC was positively associated with regional GMV in the medial temporal gyri (T=4.37) and nucleus accumbens bilaterally (T = 4.19). Furthermore, sgACC 5-HT1A binding was negatively correlated with GMV within the inferior temporal gyri (T = 5.22) and putamen bilaterally (T = 5.12).
Our findings demonstrate structural relationships between sgACC 5-HT1A receptor binding and grey matter volume in the ventral striatum as well as in temporal regions, which both exhibit close neuronal connections with the sgACC. Moreover, the GMV of the ventral striatum has been reported to be decreased in patients with MDD. Conclusively, our results underpin the role of serotonergic neuronal transmission in cytoarchitectural processes within regions involved in the modulation of mood.
Dysfunctional neuroplasticity contributes to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and depression. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. Previous studies report neuromodulatory properties of the serotonin-1A (5-HT1A) receptor, which is also altered in these disorders. This suggests 5-HT1A mediated neuroplasticity as potential pathogenic factor.
The aim of this study was to demonstrate 5-HT1A mediated neuroplasticity in vivo.
We used positron emission tomography to quantify 5-HT1A receptor binding (BPND) together with structural magnetic resonance imaging in 35 healthy subjects (mean 26.6 ±6.8 years; 17 women). Voxel-wise regression analysis was performed with gray matter volume (GMV) as dependent and 5-HT1A BPND as independent variable. Additionally, regression analysis was calculated with whole brain GMV as dependent variable and 5-HT1A BPND of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) as independent variable. Control variables were age, sex and total GMV, respectively.
5-HT1A receptor density predicted GMV of the hippocampus, medial temporal cortex, inferior temporal cortex, medial occipital cortex and the pericalcarine region in each hemisphere (p < 0.05 false discovery rate corrected, R2: 0.308–0.503). These associations were independent from local numbers of neurons. Furthermore, 5−HT1A receptor levels in the DRN predicted GMV of the anterior cingulate cortex (p = 0.001, R2=0.656, uncorrected).
These results demonstrate 5-HT1A receptor mediated morphogenetic mechanisms in healthy human subjects' brains, which occur not only locally but also at the macro-network level. Finally, morphogenetic signaling investigated with multimodal neuroimaging could contribute to better understanding and diagnostic identification of gray matter loss in neuropsychiatric disorders.
The serotonergic system modulates brain functions that are considered to underlie affective states, emotion and cognition. Several lines of evidence point towards a strong lateralization of these mental processes, indicating similar asymmetries in associated neurotransmitter systems.
To investigate a potential brain asymmetry of the serotonin transporter (SERT) distribution using Positron Emission Tomography (PET).
As brain asymmetries differ between sexes, we aimed to compare serotonin transporter asymmetry between females, males and male-to-female transsexuals whose brains are considered to be partly feminized.
36 subjects aged 19-54 years (9 female controls, 13 male controls and 14 male-to-female transsexuals) were measured with PET and [11C]DASB. Whole-brain voxel-wise SERT binding potential (BPND) maps were computed using a tracer-specific symmetric template. Statistics comprised repeated measures ANOVA with group as the between subjects factor, voxel-wise SERT asymmetry as repeated factor and group*asymmetry as interaction term.
SERT binding in all groups showed both strong left and rightward asymmetries in several cortical and subcortical structures including temporal and frontal cortices, anterior cingulate, hippocampus, caudate and thalamus (p< 0.05 FDRcorrected). Further, male controls showed a rightward asymmetry in the midcingulate cortex (p>0.05 FDR-corrected) which was absent in females and male-to-female transsexuals.
Our data support the notion of a lateralized serotonergic system, which is in line with previous findings of asymmetric serotonin-1A receptor distributions, extracellular serotonin concentrations, serotonin turnover and uptake. The absence of serotonin transporter asymmetry in the midcingulate in male-to-female transsexuals may be attributed to an absence of brain masculinization in this region.
Obtaining geochemical profiles using X-ray fluorescent (XRF) techniques has become a standard procedure in many sediment core studies. The resulting datasets are not only important tools for palaeoclimatic and palaeoceanographic reconstructions, but also for stratigraphic correlation. The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) has therefore recently introduced shipboard application of a handheld XRF device, making geochemical data directly available to the science party. In all XRF scanning techniques, the physical properties of wet core halves cause substantial analytical deviations. In order to obtain estimates of element concentrations (e.g. for quantitative analyses of fluxes or mass-balance calculations), a calibration of the scanning data is required. We test whether results from the handheld XRF analysis on discrete samples are suitable for calibrating scanning data. Log-ratios with Ca as a common denominator were calculated. The comparison between the handheld device and conventional measurements show that the latter provide high-quality data describing Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Zn, Rb and Sr content (R2 compared with conventional measurements: ln(Al/Ca) = 0.99, ln(Si/Ca) = 0.98, ln(K/Ca) = 0.99, ln(Ti/Ca) = 0.99, ln(Mn/Ca) = 0.99, ln(Fe/Ca) = 0.99, ln(Zn/Ca) = 0.99 and ln(Sr/Ca) = 0.99). Our results imply that discrete measurements using the shipboard handheld analyser are suitable for the calibration of XRF scanning data. Our test was performed on downcore sediments from IODP Expedition 355 that display a wide variety of lithologies of both terrestrial and marine origin. The implication is that our findings are valid on a general scale and that shipboard handheld XRF analysis on discrete samples should be used for calibrating XRF scanning data.
Simulation of the water balance in cropping systems is an essential tool, not only to monitor water status and determine drought but also to find ways in which soil water and irrigation water can be used more efficiently. However, besides the requirement that models are physically correct, the spatial representativeness of input data and, in particular, accurate precipitation data remain a challenge. In recent years, satellite-based soil moisture products have become an important data source for soil wetness information at various spatial-temporal scales. Four different study areas in the Czech Republic and Austria were selected representing Central European soil and climatic conditions. The performance of soil water content outputs from two different crop-water balance models and the Metop Advanced SCATterometer (ASCAT) soil moisture product was tested with field measurements from 2007 to 2011. The model output for soil water content shows that the crop model Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer performs well during dry periods (<30% plant available soil moisture (ASM), whereas the soil water-balance model SoilClim presents the best results in humid months (>60% ASM). Moreover, the model performance is best in the early growing season and decreases later in the season due to biases in simulated crop-related above-ground biomass compared with the relatively stable grass canopy of the measurement sites. The Metop ASCAT soil moisture product, which presents a spatial average of soil surface moisture, shows the best performance under medium soil wetness conditions (30–50% ASM), which is related to low variation in precipitation frequency and under conditions of low-surface biomass (early vegetation season).
The control of Johne's disease requires the identification of Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP)-positive herds. Boot swabs and liquid manure samples have been suggested as an easy-to-use alternative to sampling individual animals in order to diagnose subclinical Johne's disease at the herd level, but there is a need to evaluate performance of this approach in the field. Using a logistic regression model, this study aimed to calculate the threshold level of the apparent within-herd prevalence as determined by individual faecal culture, thus allowing the detection of whether a herd is MAP positive. A total of 77 boot swabs and 75 liquid manure samples were taken from 19 certified negative and 58 positive dairy herds. Faecal culture, three different polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods and the combination of faecal culture with PCR were applied in order to detect MAP. For 50% probability of detection, a within-herd prevalence threshold of 1·5% was calculated for testing both matrices simultaneously by faecal culture and PCR, with the threshold increased to 4·0% for 90% probability of detection. The results encourage the use of boot swabs or liquid manure samples, or a combination both, for identifying MAP-positive herds and, to a certain extent, for monitoring certified Johne's disease-negative cattle herds.
The impact of haematozoan infection on host fitness has received substantial attention since Hamilton and Zuk posited that parasites are important drivers of sexual selection. However, short-term studies testing the assumption that these parasites consistently reduce host fitness in the wild have produced contradictory results. To address this complex issue, we conducted a long-term study examining the relationship between naturally occurring infection with Haemoproteus and Plasmodium, and lifetime reproductive success and survival of Mountain White-crowned Sparrows. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that birds infected with haematozoan parasites have reduced survival (as determined by overwinter return rates) and reproductive success. Contrary to expectation, there was no relationship between Haemoproteus and Plasmodium infection and reproduction or survival in males, nor was there a relationship between Plasmodium infection and reproduction in females. Interestingly, Haemoproteus-infected females had significantly higher overwinter return rates and these females fledged more than twice as many chicks during their lifetimes as did uninfected females. We discuss the impact of parasitic infections on host fitness in light of these findings and suggest that, in the case of less virulent pathogens, investment in excessive immune defence may decrease lifetime reproduction.
The impact of human metapneumovirus (HMPV) in children aged >5 years and the risk factors associated with disease severity for all ages have not been well characterized. A retrospective cohort study of 238 children aged 0–15 years hospitalized over a 3-year period was performed. Medical records were reviewed for demographic information, clinical parameters and outcomes. Multivariable analyses were performed to identify independent factors associated with worse disease severity assessed by length of hospital stay (LOS), need for ICU care, respiratory support, and a disease severity score. Pulmonary diseases were associated with all outcomes of care, while congenital heart disease (CHD) and neuromuscular disorders were associated with longer LOS, and CHD and trisomy 21 were associated with worse severity scores independent of other covariables. Fever, retractions, use of steroids and albuterol were also associated with enhanced disease severity. Understanding the determinants of HMPV disease in children may help design targeted preventive strategies.