DRD2 Genotype-Based Variants Modulates D2 Receptor Distribution in Ventral Striatum

Mikaeel Valli, Sang Soo Cho, Mario Masellis, Robert Chen, Pablo Rusjan, Jinhee Kim, Yuko Koshimori, Alexander Mihaescu, Antonio P. Strafella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Dopaminergic signaling within the striatum is crucial for motor planning and mental function. Neurons within the striatum contain two dopamine D2 receptor isoforms—D2 long and D2 short. The amount of expression for these receptor isoforms is affected by the genotype within two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs2283265 and rs1076560 (both are in high linkage disequilibrium; C > A), found in the DRD2 gene. However, it is unclear how these SNPs affect the distribution of D2 receptors in vivo within the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system. We aim to elucidate this with PET imaging in healthy young adults using [11C]-(+)-PHNO. Participants were genotyped for the DRD2 rs2283265 SNP and a total of 20 enrolled: 9 with CC, 6 with CA, and 5 with AA genotype. The main effect of genotype on [11C]-(+)-PHNO binding was tested and we found significant group effect within the ventral striatum. Specifically, CC and CA carriers had higher binding in this region compared to AA carriers. There were no observed differences between genotypes in other regions within the basal ganglia. Our preliminary results implicate that the polymorphism genotype affects the dopaminergic signaling by controlling either the quantity of D2 receptors, D2 affinity, or a combination thereof within the ventral striatum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6512-6520
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 15 2019


  • DRD2 gene
  • Dopamine D2 receptor
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Single nucleotide polymorphism
  • [C]-(+)-PHNO radiotracer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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