Brain dopamine response in human opioid addiction

Daglish, Mark R.C., Williams, Mark R.C., Wilson, Sue J., Taylor, Lindsay G., Eap, Chin B., Augsburger, Marc, Giroud, Christian, Brooks, David J., Myles, Judy S., Grasby, Paul, Lingford-Hughes, Anne R. and Nutt, David J. (2008) Brain dopamine response in human opioid addiction. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 193 1: 65-72. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.107.041228

Author Daglish, Mark R.C.
Williams, Mark R.C.
Wilson, Sue J.
Taylor, Lindsay G.
Eap, Chin B.
Augsburger, Marc
Giroud, Christian
Brooks, David J.
Myles, Judy S.
Grasby, Paul
Lingford-Hughes, Anne R.
Nutt, David J.
Title Brain dopamine response in human opioid addiction
Journal name The British Journal of Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0007-1250
Publication date 2008-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1192/bjp.bp.107.041228
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 193
Issue 1
Start page 65
End page 72
Total pages 8
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal College of Psychiatrists
Language eng
Subject 110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
1103 Clinical Sciences
11 Medical and Health Sciences
Formatted abstract
Drugs of dependence cause dopamine release in the rat striatum. Human neuroimaging studies have shown an increase in dopamine in the equivalent region in response to stimulants and other drugs.

We tested whether opioids provoke dopamine release and its relationship to the subjective experience.

In two combined studies 14 heroin addicts on methadone maintenance treatment underwent two positron emission tomography brain scans of the dopamine system using [11C]-raclopride following an injection of placebo and either 50 mg intravenous diamorphine or 10 mg subcutaneous hydromorphone in a double-blind, random order design.

Both opioids produced marked subjective and physiological effects, but no measurable change in [11C]-raclopride binding.

The absence of a dopamine response to opioid agonists contrasts with that found with stimulant drugs and suggests dopamine may not play the same role in addiction to opioids. This questions the role of dopamine in the subjective experience of heroin in opioid addicts.
© 2008 The Royal College of Psychiatrists

Keyword Dopamine response
Opioid addiction
Brain chemistry
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 27 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 09 Sep 2009, 19:53:22 EST by Therese Egan on behalf of School of Psychology