Kinetic Modeling of Norepinephrine Transporter Availability in PTSD

Principal Investigators:  Jonathon A. Nye, PhD

Co- Investigators: Fanxing Zeng PhD, J. Douglas Bremner MD

Significance: The objective of this proposal is to collect pilot data to characterize the binding of [11C]MENET in combat-exposed war veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Little is known about the dysregulation of PTSD veterans’ neurochemical state, including the noradrenergic system, which plays a primary role in memory and stress response. This includes heightened anxiety, fear and hyperarousal symptoms. The norepinephrine transporter (NET) is responsible for regulating and terminating noradrenergic transmission, and is a specific marker for neuronal integrity. Through a series of experiments, we will determine the in vivo binding characteristics of the specific NET marker [11C]MENET using PET imaging. Our long-term goal is to develop a longitudinal study framework to assess the NET’s dysregulation during onset of PTSD as well as its transition to chronic lifetime PTSD.