Serotonin modulation of cerebral glucose metabolism measured with positron emission tomography (PET) in human subjects

Gwenn S. Smith, Yilong Ma, Vijay Dhawan, Handan Gunduz, Maren Carbon, Maggie Kirshner, Jennifer Larson, Thomas Chaly, Abdel Belakhleff, Elisse Kramer, Blaine Greenwald, John M. Kane, Fouzia Laghrissi-Thode, Bruce G. Pollock, David Eidelber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


To develop a method to measure the dynamic response of the serotonin system in vivo, the effects of intravenously administered citalopram (the most selective of the serotonin reuptake inhibitors) on cerebral glucose metabolism were evaluated. Cerebral glucose metabolism was measured with positron emission tomography (PET) in 14 normal subjects scanned after administration of saline placebo and citalopram administered on 2 separate days. Citalopram administration resulted in a decrease in metabolism in the right anterior cingulate gyrus (BA 24/32), right superior (BA 9) and right middle frontal gyrus (BA 6), right parietal cortex (precuneus), right superior occipital gyrus, left thalamus, and right cerebellum. Increased metabolism was observed in the left superior temporal gyrus and left occipital cortex. Alterations in metabolism by acute citalopram administration involved the heteromodal association cortices that also show metabolic alterations in patients with geriatric depression and overlap with the regions affected by antidepressant treatment. Future studies will evaluate how the acute metabolic response to citalopram relates to the metabolic response after chronic treatment in patients with geriatric depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Citalopram
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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