We have previouslyshown that impulsivityinratsislinkedtodecreaseddopamine D2/3 receptor availabilityintheventralstriatum.Inthe present study, we investigated, using longitudinal positron emission tomography (PET), the effects of orally administered methylpheni-date (MPH), a first-line treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, on D2/3 receptor availability in the dorsal and ventral striatum and related these changes to impulsivity. Rats were screened for impulsive behavior on a five-choice serial reaction time task. After a baseline PET scan with the D2/3 ligand [18F]fallypride, rats received 6 mg/kg MPH, orally, twice each day for 28 d. Rats were then reassessed for impulsivity and underwent a second [18F]fallypride PET scan. Before MPH treatment, we found that D2/3 receptor availability was significantly decreasedinthe left but not the right ventral striatumof high-impulse (HI) rats compared with low-impulse (LI) rats. MPH treatment increased impulsivity in LI rats, and modulated impulsivity and D2/3 receptor availability in the dorsal and ventral striatum of HI rats through inverse relationships with baseline levels of impulsivity and D2/3 receptor availability, respectively. However, we found no relationship between the effects of MPH on impulsivity and D2/3 receptor availability in any of the striatal subregions investigated. These findings indicate that trait-like impulsivity is associated with decreased D2/3 receptor availability in the left ventral striatum, and that stimulant drugs modulate impulsivity and striatal D2/3 receptor availability through independent mechanisms.
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Nucleus accumbens
- Positron emission tomography