We aim to identify physiologic regulators of dopamine (DA) signaling in obesity but previously did not find a compelling relationship with insulin sensitivity measured by oral-minimal model (OMM) and DA subtype 2 and 3 receptor (D2/3R) binding potential (BPND). Reduced disposition index (DI), a β-cell function metric that can also be calculated by OMM, was shown to predict a negative reward behavior that occurs in states of lower endogenous DA. We hypothesized that reduced DI would occur with higher D2/3R BPND, reflecting lower endogenous DA. Participants completed PET scanning, with a displaceable radioligand to measure D2/3R BPND, and a 5-hour oral glucose tolerance test to measure DI by OMM. We studied 26 age-similar females without (n = 8) and with obesity (n = 18) (22 vs 39 kg/m2). Reduced DI predicted increased striatal D2/3R BPND independent of BMI. By accounting for β-cell function, we were able to determine that the state of insulin and glucose metabolism is pertinent to striatal D2/3R BPND in obesity.
Clinical Trial Registration Number: NCT00802204