In humans, the A1 (T) allele of the dopamine (DA) D2 receptor/ankyrin repeat and kinase domain containing 1 (DRD2/ANKK1) TaqIA (rs1800497) single nucleotide polymorphism has been associated with reduced striatal DA D2/D3 receptor (D2/D3R) availability. However, radioligands used to estimate D2/D3R are displaceable by endogenous DA and are nonselective for D2R, leaving the relationship between TaqIA genotype and D2R specific binding uncertain. Using the positron emission tomography (PET) radioligand, (N-[11C]methyl)benperidol ([11C]NMB), which is highly selective for D2R over D3R and is not displaceable by endogenous DA, the current study examined whether DRD2/ANKK1 TaqIA genotype predicts D2R specific binding in two independent samples. Sample 1 (n = 39) was composed of obese and nonobese adults; sample 2 (n = 18) was composed of healthy controls, unmedicated individuals with schizophrenia, and siblings of individuals with schizophrenia. Across both samples, A1 allele carriers (A1+) had 5 to 12% less striatal D2R specific binding relative to individuals homozygous for the A2 allele (A1−), regardless of body mass index or diagnostic group. This reduction is comparable to previous PET studies of D2/D3R availability (10–14%). The pooled effect size for the difference in total striatal D2R binding between A1+ and A1− was large (0.84). In summary, in line with studies using displaceable D2/D3R radioligands, our results indicate that DRD2/ANKK1 TaqIA allele status predicts striatal D2R specific binding as measured by D2R-selective [11C]NMB. These findings support the hypothesis that DRD2/ANKK1 TaqIA allele status may modify D2R, perhaps conferring risk for certain disease states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-431
Number of pages14
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • PET
  • dopamine
  • rs1800497


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