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Effect of Citalopram on Emotion Processing in Humans: A Combined 5-HT1A [(11)C]CUMI-101 PET and Functional MRI Study

Selvaraj, S; Walker, C; Arnone, D; Cao, B; Faulkner, P; Cowen, PJ; Roiser, JP; (2018) Effect of Citalopram on Emotion Processing in Humans: A Combined 5-HT1A [(11)C]CUMI-101 PET and Functional MRI Study. Neuropsychopharmacology , 43 pp. 655-664. 10.1038/npp.2017.166. Green open access

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Abstract

A subset of patients started on a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) initially experience increased anxiety, which can lead to early discontinuation before therapeutic effects are manifest. The neural basis of this early SSRI effect is not known. Presynaptic dorsal raphe neuron (DRN) 5-HT1A receptors are known to play a critical role in affect processing. Thus we investigated the effect of acute citalopram on emotional processing and the relationship between DRN 5-HT1A receptor availability and amygdala reactivity. Thirteen (mean age 48±9 years) healthy male subjects received either a saline or citalopram infusion intravenously (10 mg over 30 min) on separate occasions in a single-blind, random order, cross-over design. On each occasion, participants underwent a block design face-emotion processing task during fMRI known to activate the amygdala. Ten subjects also completed a positron emission tomography (PET) scan to quantify DRN 5-HT1A availability using [(11)C]CUMI-101.Citalopram infusion when compared to saline resulted in a significantly increased bilateral amygdala responses to fearful vs. neutral faces (Left p=0.025; Right p=0.038 FWE-corrected). DRN [(11)C]CUMI-101availability significantly positively correlated with the effect of citalopram on the left amygdala response to fearful faces (Z=2.51, p=0.027) and right amygdala response to happy faces (Z=2.33, p=0.032). Our findings indicate that the initial effect of SSRI treatment is to alter processing of aversive stimuli, and that this is linked to DRN 5-HT1A receptors in line with evidence that 5-HT1A receptors have a role in mediating emotional processing.

Type: Article
Title: Effect of Citalopram on Emotion Processing in Humans: A Combined 5-HT1A [(11)C]CUMI-101 PET and Functional MRI Study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/npp.2017.166
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npp.2017.166
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: positron emission tomography (PET), serotonin (5-HT), Citalopram, SSRI, emotion, amygdala, neuroimaging, functional magnetic resonance imaging, 5-HT1A receptor, [11C]-CUMI-101, face processing, dorsal raphe nucleus
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1570307
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