Changes in apparent rates of receptor binding in the intact brain in relation to the heterogeneity of reaction environments

O Inoue, K Kobayashi, A Gee

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Neuroreceptor imaging by PET or SPECT has been widely applied in the field of neurobiology, from basic to clinical investigations, and has the potential to reveal the neurochemical basis of various neurological and psychiatric diseases as well as to provide new knowledge in the field of neuropharmacology. In contrast to the static nature of in vitro systems, neurotransmission systems in the intact brain constitute part of a dynamic and communicating environment. Thus, it is important to develop new functional imaging methods that reflect neural communications and the dynamism of signal transmission in the living brain. In vivo receptor binding can be altered not only by competitive inhibition by endogenous neurotransmitters but by trans-synaptic effects, and investigation of neural interactions by detection of changes in receptor binding therefore presents a potential method for studying this phenomenon. Recently, several PET studies on in vivo neural interactions using the D2 receptor ligand [C-11]-raclopride concluded that the phenomenon was mediated by changes in synaptic endogenous dopamine concentrations that compete with [C-11]-raclopride binding for neuroreceptor occupancy. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that these changes in in vivo receptor binding cannot be fully explained by competitive inhibition by endogenous ligand, and alternative mechanisms for the interneuronal modulation of receptor binding are addressed. This review highlights some of the discrepancies observed between in vitro and in vivo receptor binding studies with respect to a number of phenomena, including the heterogeneity of the reaction field surrounding receptors. Quantitative receptor binding studies are usually analyzed by using 'static' binding parameters, such as the B-max and K-D, which are normally determined by in vitro assays. In addition to these parameters, the apparent association and dissociation rate constants (kon, koff) play equally significant roles in receptor binding in the intact brain is expected. The concepts of "diffusion boundary" and "reaction volume" are introduced, and discussions on some of the discrepancies between in vivo and in vitro receptor binding phenomena are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-225
Number of pages27
JournalCritical Reviews in Neurobiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in apparent rates of receptor binding in the intact brain in relation to the heterogeneity of reaction environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this