Cerebral cortical regions are thought to be important for cognitive functions such as memory and executive function. Although the functional associations between dopamine D2 receptors and motor and cognitive functions have been extensively examined in the striatum using positron emission tomography (PET), the role of dopamine D2 receptors in extrastriatal regions has been unexplored. We aimed to investigate the relationship between dopamine D2 receptors in extrastriatal regions and the performance of a broad spectrum of cognitive functions including memory, language, attention, and executive function in healthy subjects. Extrastriatal dopamine D2 receptors were measured in 25 male subjects using PET with [11C]FLB457. After the PET scans, a battery of neuropsychological tests was administered to all subjects. We found that the binding potential (BP) of [11C]FLB457 in the hippocampus was positively correlated with memory function. Furthermore, BP of [11C]FLB457 in the hippocampus, but not in the prefrontal cortex, was associated with frontal lobe functions such as executive function and verbal fluency. Our findings suggest that dopamine D2 receptors in the hippocampus might affect the local hippocampal function, but also brain functions outside the hippocampus such as the prefrontal cortex.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience