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Exploring Occupancy of Dopamine D3 Receptor by Buspirone in Humans Using PET

Information source: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Smoking Cessation; Tobacco Use Cessation

Intervention: Buspirone (Drug); Placebo (Drug)

Phase: Phase 1/Phase 2

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Isabelle Boileau, PhD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Center for Addiction and Mental Health
Bernard Le Foll, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Center for Addiction and Mental Health


The objective of the present study is to use positron emission tomography brain imaging to investigate D3 occupancy of buspirone, an FDA-approved anxiolytic which acts as a serotonin partial agonist but has recently been identified as a D3 antagonist. It is hypothesized that clinically relevant doses of buspirone will occupy the D3 receptor.

Clinical Details

Official title: Exploring Occupancy of Dopamine D3 Receptor by Buspirone in Humans Using PET

Study design: Allocation: Non-Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Pharmacodynamics Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Basic Science

Primary outcome: Dose-response occupancy of buspirone at DRD3

Detailed description: Buspirone is used for anxiety disorder treatment, a therapeutic effect that has been thought to be mediated through its partial agonist properties at the serotonin receptor. However, since one PET study in humans has shown low occupancy of the serotonin by buspirone in clinical doses and since the DRD3 has been recently implicated in anxiety, some therapeutic effects of buspirone may be mediated through the DRD3. In human clinical studies, promising effects of buspirone have been reported for treatment of substance dependence, including tobacco, marijuana, and opiates, and clinical studies in cocaine dependent subjects are underway. However, it is unclear if buspirone is producing those effects through the DRD3 and no human study has incorporated a PET imaging component to investigate this question; it remains unclear whether buspirone significantly occupies the DRD3 at therapeutic doses in humans.


Minimum age: 19 Years. Maximum age: 65 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- 19 years or older

Exclusion Criteria:

- Medical condition including cardiovascular, renal, hepatic or cerebrovascular


- History of or current neurological illnesses including seizure disorders, migraine,

multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, head trauma, CVA or CNS tumor, - Present or

past psychiatric condition including mood, anxiety, psychotic disorders and substance abuse and/or dependence.

- Condition that precludes use of buspirone or that will interfere with participation

in the present study (such as hypersensitive to buspirone hydrochloride).

- Pregnancy or breastfeeding.

- Presence of metal objects in the body or implanted electronic devices, that preclude

safe MR scanning.

- Claustrophobia.

- Current use or use during the previous month of medication that may affect the CNS,

including monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or positive during drug screening for drugs of abuse or any medication that could increase the risk of buspirone administration.

- Exposure to radiation in the last 12 month exceeding permissible limit for subjects

participating in research.

Locations and Contacts

Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S1, Canada
Additional Information

Information about research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching

Starting date: October 2012
Last updated: June 3, 2014

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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