Molecular Aspects of G-protein Coupled Receptor Signalling of Relevance for Nuclear Medicine Imaging in Psychiatry

  • Christoph Van de Wiele
  • Ingeborg Goethals
  • Kurt Audenaert
  • Andreas Otte
  • Nico Mertens


This chapter provides an overview of molecular aspects of receptor signalling in brain. Most neurotransmitters in the brain act through G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Accordingly, several a, Ghent University anuthors have synthesized radiolabelled molecules for receptor imaging of the brain by means of single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) or positron emission tomography (PET). GPCRs of major interest for imaging in psychiatry include serotonin receptors and dopamine receptors. This chapter summarizes a number of aspects of the molecular biology of GPCRs that might be of help when interpreting neuroreceptor images acquired by SPECT or PET. Accordingly, GPCRs, G-proteins, the interaction between GPCRs and G-proteins and in-vivo regulation of intraneuronal trafficking of GPCRs are discussed. In addition, a small overview of the biology of GPCRs of interest for imaging in psychiatry is provided. Serotonin receptors, especially those of the la and 2a types, and dopamine receptors, especially those of the Dl and D2 types, are of interest in psychiatry and will be discussed.


Positron Emission Tomography Single Photon Emission Computerize Tomography Dopamine Receptor Single Photon Emission Computerize Tomography Imaging Intrinsic GTPase Activity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Van de Wiele
    • 1
  • Ingeborg Goethals
    • 1
  • Kurt Audenaert
    • 2
  • Andreas Otte
    • 1
  • Nico Mertens
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Nuclear MedicineUniversity Hospital GhentGentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyUniversity Hospital GhentGentBelgium
  3. 3.Molecular BiologyGhent University and Flanders Interuniversity Institute for BiotechnologyGentBelgium

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