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Dopamine in amygdala gates limbic processing of aversive stimuli in humans

Nature Neuroscience volume 11, pages 13811382 (2008) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Dopamine is released under stress and modulates processing of aversive stimuli. We found that dopamine storage capacity in human amygdala, measured with 6-[18F]fluoro-L-DOPA positron emission tomography, was positively correlated with functional magnetic resonance imaging blood oxygen level–dependent signal changes in amygdala and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex that were evoked by aversive stimuli. Furthermore, functional connectivity between these two regions was inversely related to trait anxiety. Our results suggest that individual dopamine storage capacity in amygdala subserves modulation of emotional processing in amygdala and dorsal cingulate, thereby contributing to individual differences in anxious temperament.

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Acknowledgements

FDOPA plasma metabolite analysis was performed by S. Hoehnemann (University of Mainz). This study was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (HE 2597/4-3, HE 2597/7-3 and SM 80/2-2). A.R.H. is supported by the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression and US National Institutes of Health grant MH072837.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus Charité Mitte, Charité - University Medicine Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany.

    • Thorsten Kienast
    • , Florian Schlagenhauf
    • , Jana Wrase
    • , Philipp Sterzer
    •  & Andreas Heinz
  2. Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.

    • Ahmad R Hariri
  3. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Langenbeck Strasse 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany.

    • Hans Georg Buchholz
  4. Section of Systems Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Würzburger Strasse 35, 01187 Dresden, Germany.

    • Michael N Smolka
  5. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstrasse 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany.

    • Gerhard Gründer
  6. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Ludwig Maximilian University, Campus Großhadern, Marchioninistrasse 15, 81377 Munich, Germany.

    • Paul Cumming
    •  & Peter Bartenstein
  7. Department of Nuclear Medicine and Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Tokyo University, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033 Japan.

    • Yoshitaka Kumakura
  8. Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London WC1N 3BG, UK.

    • Raymond J Dolan

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Competing interests

Dr. Gründer has served as a consultant for Astra Zeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka and Pfizer. He has served on the speakers' bureau of Astra Zeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Janssen Cilag, Otsuka, Pfizer, Servier and Wyeth. He has received grant support from Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andreas Heinz.

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    Supplementary Figure 1, Supplementary Methods, Supplementary Discussion and Supplementary Results

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2222

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