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Review

Molecular Imaging of Central Dopamine in Obesity: A Qualitative Review across Substrates and Radiotracers

1
Department of Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
2
Institute of Psychology, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, 39106 Magdeburg, Germany
3
Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Swen Hesse
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040486
Received: 28 February 2022 / Revised: 5 April 2022 / Accepted: 6 April 2022 / Published: 8 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Brain and Obesity)
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in adaptive behavior. A wealth of studies suggests obesity-related alterations in the central dopamine system. The most direct evidence for such differences in humans comes from molecular neuroimaging studies using positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). The aim of the current review is to give a comprehensive overview of molecular neuroimaging studies that investigated the relation between BMI or weight status and any dopamine target in the striatal and midbrain regions of the human brain. A structured literature search was performed and a summary of the extracted findings are presented for each of the four available domains: (1) D2/D3 receptors, (2) dopamine release, (3) dopamine synthesis, and (4) dopamine transporters. Recent proposals of a nonlinear relationship between severity of obesity and dopamine imbalances are described while integrating findings within and across domains, after which limitations of the review are discussed. We conclude that despite many observed associations between obesity and substrates of the dopamine system in humans, it is unlikely that obesity can be traced back to a single dopaminergic cause or consequence. For effective personalized prevention and treatment of obesity, it will be crucial to identify possible dopamine (and non-dopamine) profiles and their functional characteristics. View Full-Text
Keywords: dopamine; obesity; BMI; Positron Emission Tomography; single-photon emission tomography dopamine; obesity; BMI; Positron Emission Tomography; single-photon emission tomography
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MDPI and ACS Style

Janssen, L.K.; Horstmann, A. Molecular Imaging of Central Dopamine in Obesity: A Qualitative Review across Substrates and Radiotracers. Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 486. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040486

AMA Style

Janssen LK, Horstmann A. Molecular Imaging of Central Dopamine in Obesity: A Qualitative Review across Substrates and Radiotracers. Brain Sciences. 2022; 12(4):486. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040486

Chicago/Turabian Style

Janssen, Lieneke Katharina, and Annette Horstmann. 2022. "Molecular Imaging of Central Dopamine in Obesity: A Qualitative Review across Substrates and Radiotracers" Brain Sciences 12, no. 4: 486. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040486

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