Striatal dopamine D2-like receptors availability in obesity and its modulation by bariatric surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Gabriela Ribeiro, Ana Maia, Gonçalo Cotovio, Francisco P.M. Oliveira, Durval C. Costa, Albino J. Oliveira-Maia

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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There is significant evidence linking a 'reward deficiency syndrome' (RDS), comprising decreased availability of striatal dopamine D2-like receptors (DD2lR) and addiction-like behaviors underlying substance use disorders and obesity. Regarding obesity, a systematic review of the literature with a meta-analysis of such data is lacking. Following a systematic review of the literature, we performed random-effects meta-analyses to determine group differences in case-control studies comparing DD2lR between individuals with obesity and non-obese controls and prospective studies of pre- to post-bariatric surgery DD2lR changes. Cohen's d was used to measure effect size. Additionally, we explored factors potentially associated with group differences in DD2lR availability, such as obesity severity, using univariate meta-regression. In a meta-analysis including positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies, striatal DD2lR availability did not significantly differ between obesity and controls. However, in studies comprising patients with class III obesity or higher, group differences were significant, favoring lower DD2lR availability in the obesity group. This effect of obesity severity was corroborated by meta-regressions showing inverse associations between the body mass index (BMI) of the obesity group and DD2lR availability. Post-bariatric changes in DD2lR availability were not found, although a limited number of studies were included in this meta-analysis. These results support lower DD2lR in higher classes of obesity which is a more targeted population to explore unanswered questions regarding the RDS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4959
Pages (from-to)4959
Number of pages1
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2023


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