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Nature Research, Communications Biology, 1(5), 2022

DOI: 10.1038/s42003-022-03979-5



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Striatal D1 and D2 receptor availability are selectively associated with eye-blink rates after methylphenidate treatment

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


AbstractEye-blink rate has been proposed as a biomarker of the brain dopamine system, however, findings have not been consistent. This study assessed the relationship between blink rates, measured after oral placebo) (PL) and after a challenge with oral methylphenidate (MP; 60 mg) and striatal D1 receptor (D1R) (measured at baseline) and D2 receptor (D2R) availability (measured after PL and after MP) in healthy participants. PET measures of baseline D1R ([11C]NNC112) (BL-D1R) and D2R availability ([11C]raclopride) after PL (PL-D2R) and after MP (MP-D2R) were quantified in the striatum as non-displaceable binding potential. MP reduced the number of blinks and increased the time participants kept their eyes open. Correlations with dopamine receptors were only significant for the eye blink measures obtained after MP; being positive for BL-D1R in putamen and MP-D2R in caudate (PL-D2R were not significant). MP-induced changes in blink rates (PL minus MP) were negatively correlated with BL-D1R in caudate and putamen. Our findings suggest that eye blink measures obtained while stressing the dopamine system might provide a more sensitive behavioral biomarker of striatal D1R or D2R in healthy volunteers than that obtained at baseline or after placebo.