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No changes in striatal dopamine transporter in antidepressant-treated patients with major depression

Wu, Cheng-Kuana; Chin Chen, Kaoa,b,d; See Chen, Poa,b,d; Chiu, Nan-Tsingc; Yeh, Tzung Lieha,b; Lee, I. Huia,b; Yang, Yen Kuanga,b

International Clinical Psychopharmacology: May 2013 - Volume 28 - Issue 3 - p 141–144
doi: 10.1097/YIC.0b013e32835ebcd7

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are the mainstay treatment for major depressive disorder, but whether their therapeutic mechanisms involve the dopaminergic system remains inconclusive. Eight participants with major depressive disorder were administered single-photon emission computed tomography with [99mTc] TRODAT-1 both before and after 24 weeks of antidepressant treatment to evaluate the change in striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) availability. All participants were responders (≥50% reduction in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score). The DAT availability did not change (P=0.58), as the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score decreased (P=0.02). Striatal DAT availability remains intact during long-term antidepressant treatment in patients with major depressive disorder.

aDepartment of Psychiatry, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine

bAddiction Research Center

cDepartment of Nuclear Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan

dDepartment of Psychiatry, National Cheng Kung University, Dou-Liou Branch, Yunlin, Taiwan

Correspondence to I. Hui Lee, MD, Department of Psychiatry, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, 138 Shen Li Road, Tainan 70428, Taiwan Tel: +88 66 235 3535 x5229; fax: +88 66 208 476 7; e-mail:

Received August 20, 2012

Accepted January 8, 2013

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.