Dopa decarboxylase activity of the living human brain

Albert Gjedde, Jakob Reith, Suzan Dyve, Gabriel Léger, Mark Guttman, Mirko Diksic, Alan Evans, Hiroto Kuwabara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Monoaminergic neurons use dopa decarboxylase (DDC; aromatic-L-amino-acid carboxy-lyase, EC to form dopamine from L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-dopa). We measured regional dopa decarboxylase activity in brains of six healthy volunteers with 6-[18F]fluoro-L-dopa and positron emission tomography. We calculated the enzyme activity, relative to its Km, with a kinetic model that yielded the relative rate of conversion of 6-[18F]fluoro-L-dopa to [18F]fluorodopamine. Regional values of relative dopa decarboxylase activity ranged from nil in occipital cortex to 1.9 h-1 in caudate nucleus and putamen, in agreement with values obtained in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2721-2725
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • 6-[F]fluoro-L-dopa
  • Dopamine
  • Dopamine synthesis
  • Parkinson disease
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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