Dopaminergic transmission in the brain's mesocorticolimbic system is thought to be a significant factor in alcohol abuse and dependence. Most research on the dopaminergic response to alcohol and its conditioned cues is nevertheless done in rodents. The extent to which these rodent models translate to human alcohol use disorders is unknown. Therefore the long term goal of our proposed work is the development of an in vivo human biomarker of striatal dopaminergic responses that can be applied to the study alcoholism and its antecedent risks. We will do this using positron emission tomography (PET) and the dopamine D2 ligand [11C]raclopride. Behavioral paradigms will be employed to study how alcohol administration, alcohol's cues, and expectations of impending alcohol-intoxication relate to dopamine function in subjects with alcoholism.

Public Health Relevance

This research will use a technology called positron emission tomography to study the neurochemical dopamine in the human brain. Alterations in this neurochemical system are thought to be highly important to alcoholism, as well as to other addictions. Research such as this has the potential to show exactly how dopamine neurotransmission is altered in alcoholism, findings that may lead to better treatments and diagnosis.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IFCN-A (02))
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Matochik, John A
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Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Kareken, David A (2018) Missing motoric manipulations: rethinking the imaging of the ventral striatum and dopamine in human reward. Brain Imaging Behav :
Oberlin, Brandon G; Dzemidzic, Mario; Harezlak, Jaroslaw et al. (2016) Corticostriatal and Dopaminergic Response to Beer Flavor with Both fMRI and [(11) C]raclopride Positron Emission Tomography. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 40:1865-73
Charpentier, Judith; Dzemidzic, Mario; West, John et al. (2016) Externalizing personality traits, empathy, and gray matter volume in healthy young drinkers. Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 248:64-72
Oberlin, Brandon G; Dzemidzic, Mario; Tran, Stella M et al. (2015) Beer self-administration provokes lateralized nucleus accumbens dopamine release in male heavy drinkers. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 232:861-70
Weafer, Jessica; Dzemidzic, Mario; Eiler 2nd, William et al. (2015) Associations between regional brain physiology and trait impulsivity, motor inhibition, and impaired control over drinking. Psychiatry Res 233:81-7
Cyders, Melissa A; Dzemidzic, Mario; Eiler, William J et al. (2015) Negative Urgency Mediates the Relationship between Amygdala and Orbitofrontal Cortex Activation to Negative Emotional Stimuli and General Risk-Taking. Cereb Cortex 25:4094-102
Oberlin, Brandon G; Albrecht, Daniel S; Herring, Christine M et al. (2015) Monetary discounting and ventral striatal dopamine receptor availability in nontreatment-seeking alcoholics and social drinkers. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 232:2207-16
Kareken, David A; Dzemidzic, Mario; Wetherill, Leah et al. (2013) Family history of alcoholism interacts with alcohol to affect brain regions involved in behavioral inhibition. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 228:335-45
Kareken, David A; Dzemidzic, Mario; Oberlin, Brandon G et al. (2013) A preliminary study of the human brain response to oral sucrose and its association with recent drinking. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 37:2058-65
Oberlin, Brandon G; Dzemidzic, Mario; Tran, Stella M et al. (2013) Beer flavor provokes striatal dopamine release in male drinkers: mediation by family history of alcoholism. Neuropsychopharmacology 38:1617-24

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