Contribution of non-genetic factors to dopamine and serotonin receptor availability in the adult human brain

[Speaker] Borg, Jacqueline:1
[Co-author] Cervenka, Simon:1, Kuja-halkola, Ralf:1, Matheson, Granville J:1, Jönsson, Erik G:1,2, Lichtenstein, Paul:1, Henningsson, Susanne:3, Ichimiya, Tetsuya:1,4, Larsson, Henrik:1, Stenkrona, Per:1, Halldin, Christer:1, Farde, Lars:1,5
1:Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), 2:University of Oslo (Norway), 3:Copenhagen University Hospital (Denmark), 4:Nippon Medical School (Japan), 5:AstraZeneca Translational Science Center (Sweden)

The dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission systems are of fundamental importance for normal brain function as well as major psychiatric disorders, but little is known about the regulation of these systems. With positron emission tomography (PET) we studied twins to estimate the relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors, respectively, on dopaminergic and serotonergic markers in the living human brain. Heritability, shared environmental effects and individual-specific non-shared effects were estimated for regional dopamine D2/3 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptor availability. We found a major contribution of genetic factors on individual variability in striatal D2/3 receptors and a major contribution of environmental factors on neocortical 5-HT1A receptors. Our findings indicate that individual variation in neuroreceptor availability in the adult brain is the end point of a nature-nurture interplay, and call for increased efforts to identify not only the genetic but also the environmental factors that influence neurotransmission in health and disease.
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