D-like dopamine receptors in animals and humans have been shown to be linked to impulsive behaviors that are highly relevant for several psychiatric disorders. Here, we investigate the relationship between the fronto-striatal D/D dopamine receptor availability and response inhibition in a selected population of healthy OPRM1 G-allele carriers. Twenty-two participants successively underwent blood-oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a stop-signal task and a separate positron emission tomography (PET) scan. Striatal and extrastriatal D/D dopamine receptor availability was measured using the radiotracer [F]fallypride. Caudate D/D dopamine receptor availability positively correlated with stopping-related fronto-striatal fMRI activation. In addition, right prefrontal D/D dopamine receptor availability correlated positively with stopping-related striatal fMRI BOLD signal. Our study partially replicates previous findings on correlations between striatal D/D dopamine receptor availability and response inhibition in a population selected for its genetic determination of dopamine response to alcohol and as a modulator of impulse control via the endogenous opioid system. We confirm the important role of D/D dopamine receptor availability in the fronto-striatal neural circuit for response inhibition. Moreover, we extend previous findings suggesting that dopamine receptor availability in the right inferior frontal cortex, a crucial region of the stopping network, is also strongly associated with stopping-related striatal fMRI activity in healthy OPRM1 G-allele carriers.
© 2021. The Author(s).