Gender-specific aging effects on the serotonin 1A receptor

Carolyn Cidis Meltzer, Wayne C. Drevets, Julie C. Price, Chester A. Mathis, Brian Lopresti, Phil J. Greer, Victor L. Villemagne, Daniel Holt, N. Scott Mason, Patricia R. Houck, Charles F. Reynolds, Steven T. DeKosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


The effects of age on serotonergic function have been hypothesized to underlie age-related changes in mood and behaviors such as sleep and eating. Of particular interest is the serotonin type-1A (5-HT1A) receptor, due to its putative role in mediating the therapeutic efficacy of antidepressant treatment. Using positron emission tomography (PET) and [11C-carbonyl] WAY100635, we assessed 5-HT1A receptor binding in 21 healthy subjects (10 men, 11 women) ranging in age from 21 to 80 years. Regional binding potential values were generated using a reference tissue model and corrected for partial volume effects. We observed an inverse relationship between age and binding of [11C-carbonyl] WAY100635 to the 5-HT1A receptor in men, but not women. This finding is in accord with observations reported in the postmortem literature. Gender-specific effects of age on central serotonergic function may relate to differences between men and women in behavior, mood, and susceptibility to neuropsychiatric disease across the adult lifespan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 23 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Emission tomography
  • Serotonin receptor
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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