SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
­­­Striatal dopamine transporter binding correlates with body composition and visual attention bias for food cues in healthy young men
KE KOOPMAN1, A ROEFS2, DC ELBERS1, E FLIERS1, J BOOIJ3, MJ SERLIE1, SE LA FLEUR1
1Dept Endo&Metab, AMC, Amsterdam, Netherlands/2Dept Clin Psychol Sci., Univ Maastricht, Maastricht, Netherlands/3Nucl Medicin, AMC, Amsterdam, Netherlands
   It is believed that a downregulated dopamine (DA) system in obesity stimulates food-motivated behavior stimulating reward, but the physiological role of DA in energy balance regulation is not well established. Since motivation for food is an essential evolutionary mechanism for survival and lean body mass is a well-known determinant of survival, we hypothesized that the striatal dopaminergic system is involved in maintaining energy balance and lean body mass. We included 36 lean, healthy, male subjects and measured striatal DA transporter (DAT) binding using 123I-FP-CIT SPECT, body composition using bioimpedance analysis, visual attention bias for food and degree of impulsivity using response-latency based computer tasks. Ad libitum food intake was self-reported online. Striatal DAT binding correlated negatively with lean body mass, fat mass but not with body mass index (BMI). Moreover, striatal DAT binding positively correlated with visual attention bias for food, but not with impulsivity. Furthermore, visual attention bias for food positively correlated with ad libitum total caloric intake, protein intake and carbohydrate intake. Based on our results we propose a physiological role for the striatal DA system in maintaining energy balance by responding to changes in body mass. When fat and/or lean mass changes, the striatal DA system acts to adjust energy intake through modulation of visual attention to food.