Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technique that is widely used in early detection and treatment follow up of many diseases, including cancer. This modality requires positron-emitting isotope labeled biomolecules, which are synthesized prior to perform imaging studies. Fluorine-18 is one of the several isotopes of fluorine that is routinely used in radiolabeling of biomolecules for PET; because of its positron emitting property and favorable half-life of 109.8 min. The biologically active molecule most commonly used for PET is 2-deoxy-2-18F-fluoro-β-D-glucose (18F-FDG), an analogue of glucose, for early detection of tumors. The concentrations of tracer accumulation (PET image) demonstrate the metabolic activity of tissues in terms of regional glucose metabolism and accumulation. Other tracers are also used in PET to image the tissue concentration. In this review, information on fluorination and radiofluorination reactions, radiofluorinating agents, and radiolabeling of various compounds and their application in PET imaging is presented.
Fluorine-18; positron emission tomography (PET); PET radiopharmaceuticals
Abnormal tryptophan metabolism catalyzed by indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) may play a prominent role in tumor immuno-resistance in many tumor types, including lung tumors. The goal of this study was to evaluate in vivo kinetics of α~[11C]methyl-L-tryptophan (AMT), a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer for tryptophan metabolism, in human lung tumors.
Using dynamic PET/CT scanning with AMT, tracer transport and metabolic rates were evaluated in 18 lesions of 10 patients. The kinetic values were compared between tumors and unaffected lung tissue, tested against a simplified analytic approach requiring no arterial blood sampling, and correlated with standard uptake values (SUVs) obtained from 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-gluose (FDG) PET/CT scans.
Most non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) showed prolonged retention of AMT but three other lesions (two benign lesions and a rectal cancer metastasis) and unaffected lung tissue showed no such retention. Transport and metabolic rates of AMT were substantially higher in NSCLCs than in the other tumors and unaffected lung tissue. A simplified analytic approach provided an excellent estimate of transport rates but only suboptimal approximation of tryptophan metabolic rates. FDG SUVs showed a positive correlation with AMT uptake, suggesting higher tryptophan transport and metabolism in tumors with higher proliferation rates.
Prolonged retention of AMT in NSCLCs suggests high metabolic rates of tryptophan in these tumors. AMT PET/CT may be a clinically useful molecular imaging method for personalized cancer treatment by identifying and monitoring patients who have increased tumor tryptophan metabolism and are potentially sensitive to immuno-pharmacotherapy with IDO inhibitors.
lung tumors; positron emission tomography; tryptophan; metabolism; 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose
Although much is known about the perceptual characteristics of tinnitus, its neural origins remain poorly understood. We investigated the pattern of neural activation in central auditory structures using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in a rat model of salicylate-induced tinnitus. Awake rats were injected with the metabolic tracer, fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), once in a quiet state (baseline) and once during salicylate-induced tinnitus. Tinnitus was verified using a behavioral technique. Brain imaging was performed using a high-resolution microPET scanner. Rats underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and reconstructed MRI and microPET images were fused to identify brain structures. FDG activity in brain regions of interest were quantified and compared. MicroPET imaging showed that FDG activity in the frontal pole was stable between baseline and tinnitus conditions, suggesting it was metabolically inert during tinnitus. Inferior colliculi (p=0.03) and temporal cortices (p=0.003) showed significantly increased FDG activity during tinnitus relative to baseline; activity in the colliculi and temporal cortices increased by 17% ± 21% and 29% ± 20%, respectively. FDG activity in the thalami also increased during tinnitus, but the increase did not reach statistical significance (p=0.07). Our results show increased metabolic activity consistent with neuronal activation in inferior colliculi and auditory cortices of rats during salicylate-induced tinnitus. These results are the first to show that microPET imaging can be used to identify central auditory structures involved in tinnitus and suggest that microPET imaging might be used to evaluate the therapeutic potential of drugs to treat tinnitus.
The development of prevention therapies for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) would greatly benefit from biomarkers that are sensitive to subtle brain changes occurring in the preclinical stage of the disease. Early diagnostics is necessary to identify and treat at risk individuals before irreversible neuronal loss occurs. In vivo imaging has long been used to evaluate brain structural and functional abnormalities as predictors of future AD in non-demented persons. Prior to development of amyloid-β (Aβ) tracers for positron emission tomography (PET), the most widely utilized PET tracer in AD was 2-[P18PF]fluoro-2-Deoxy-D-glucose (PFDG) PET. For over 20 years, FDG-PET has been used to measure cerebral metabolic rates of glucose (CMRglc), a proxy for neuronal activity, in AD. Many studies have shown that CMRglc reductions occur early in AD, correlate with disease progression, and predict histopathological diagnosis. This paper reviews reports of clinical and preclinical CMRglc reductions observed in association with genetic and non-genetic risk factors for AD. We then briefly review brain Aβ PET imaging studies in AD and discuss the potential of combining symptoms-sensitive FDG-PET measures with pathology-specific Aβ-PET to improve the early detection of AD.
amyloid-β; cerebral metabolic rate of glucose (CMRglc); normal aging; positron emission tomography; preclinical detection
To develop a less-stressful and simple method for measurement of the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) in small animals, the steady-state method was applied to injectable 15O2-PET (15O2-positron emission tomography) using hemoglobin-containing vesicles (15O2-HbV). Ten normal rats and 10 with middle cerebral arterial occlusion (MCAO) were studied using a small animal PET scanner. A series of 15O-PET scans with C15O-labeled HbV, H215O, and 15O2-HbV were performed with 10 to 15 minutes intervals to measure cerebral blood volume (CBV), cerebral blood flow (CBF), and CMRO2. Positron emission tomography scans were started with a tracer injection using a multiprogramming syringe pump, which provides a slowly increasing injection volume to achieve steady-state radioactivity for H215O and 15O2-HbV scans. The radioactivity concentration of 15O rapidly achieved equilibrium in the blood and whole brain at about 2 minutes after H215O and 15O2-HbV administration, which was stable during the scans. The whole brain mean values of CBF, CBV, and CMRO2 were 54.3±2.0 mL per 100 g per minute, 4.9±0.4 mL/100 g, and 2.8±0.2 μmoL per g per minute (6.2±0.4 mL per 100 g per minute) in the normal rats, respectively. In the MCAO model rats, all hemodynamic parameters of the infarction area on the occlusion side significantly decreased. The steady-state method with 15O-labeled HbV is simple and useful to analyze hemodynamic changes in studies with model animals.
15O-gas PET; cerebral oxygen metabolism; hemoglobin-containing vesicles; injectable 15O2; steady-state method
Although positron emission tomography (PET) and the aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) tracer 6-[18F]fluoro-L-m-tyrosine (FMT) has been used to assess the integrity of the presynaptic dopamine system in the brain, relatively little has been published in terms of brain FMT uptake values especially for normal human subjects. Twelve normal volunteer subjects were scanned using PET and FMT to determine the range of normal striatal uptake values using Patlak graphical analysis. For comparison, seven adult rhesus monkeys were studied and the data analyzed in the same way. A subset of monkeys that were treated with a unilateral intracarotid artery infusion of the dopamine neurotoxin MPTP showed an 87% decrease in striatal FMT uptake. These findings support the use of PET and FMT to image AADC distribution in both normal and diseased brains using Patlak graphical analysis and tissue input functions.
dopamine; FMT; Patlak; PET
The mechanism of dementia in subcortical cerebral infarction is incompletely understood.
To determine how cognitive function is related to cortical metabolism in patients with subcortical infarction and a continuum of cognitive impairment.
We used positron emission tomography (PET) and the glucose metabolic tracer fludeoxyglucose F 18 to study 8 patients with subcortical stroke and normal cognitive function (S-CN), 5 patients with subcortical stroke and cognitive impairment (S-CI) who did not have dementia, 8 patients with subcortical stroke and dementia (S-D), and 11 controls with no cognitive impairment or stroke. A subset of patients had absolute regional cerebral metabolic rate of glucose (CMRglc) determined, while in all subjects regional tracer uptake normalized to whole brain tracer uptake was calculated. PET data were analyzed by constructing volumes of interest using coregistered magnetic resonance imaging data and correcting the PET data for atrophy.
Global CMRglc was significantly lower in the patients with S-D than in the control and S-CN groups, with S-CI rates intermediate to those of the S-D and S-CN groups. Absolute regional CMRs of glucose were similar in the S-D and S-CI groups and in the control and S-CN groups. The regional pattern, however, showed lower right frontal regional CMRglc ratios in all stroke groups compared with the controls. There were modest correlations between performance on the Mini-Mental State Examination and whole brain CMRglc when all 4 groups were included.
These results demonstrate that subcortical infarction produces global cerebral hypometabolism, which is related to the clinical status of the patients. In addition, specific frontal lobe hypometabolism also appears to be a feature of subcortical infarction. Taken together, both global and regional effects on cortical function mediate the production of clinical symptoms in patients with subcortical strokes.
We present the electrophilic synthesis of [18F]2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-fluoro)tropane [[18F]CFT] and the pharmacological specificity and selectivity of [18F]CFT for monoamine transporters in the brain and peripheral organs of rats. The human radiation dose is extrapolated from the animal data.
[18F]CFT was synthesized by electrophilic fluorination of a stannylated precursor by using post-target-produced [18F]F2 as a fluorinating agent. The ex vivo 18F-activity biodistribution of [18F]CFT in the brain of rats was studied by autoradiography. The binding of [18F]CFT to the monoamine transporters was studied using in vivo blocking experiments with dopamine transporter [DAT], norepinephrine transporter [NET], or serotonin transporter [SERT] inhibitors. In vivo animal positron emission tomography was used as a comparative method to determine tracer kinetics. Human radiation dose was assessed using OLINDA software.
The radiochemical yield of [18F]CFT from the initial [18F]F-, decay corrected to the end of bombardment, was 3.2 ± 1.0%. The specific activity [SA] was 14.5 ± 3.4 GBq/μmol, decay corrected to the end of synthesis. Radiochemical purity exceeded 99%. DAT-specific binding was found in the striatum, locus coeruleus, and pancreas. NET-specific binding was found in the locus coeruleus. SERT-specific binding was not found in any of the studied organs. Effective dose equivalent [EDE] estimated for the standard human model was 12.8 μSv/MBq. Effective dose [ED] was 9.17 μSv/MBq.
Post-target-produced high-SA [18F]F2 was used to incorporate18F directly into the phenyl ring of [18F]CFT. The final product had high radiochemical and chemical purities and a high SA for DAT and NET studies in vivo. In periphery, [18F]CFT showed a specific uptake in the pancreas. EDE and ED corresponded well with other18F-radioligands.
[18F]CFT; DAT; NET; electrophilic fluorination; monoamine transporters
The aim of this feasibility study was to evaluate [18F]-2-Fluoro-A85380 for in vivo imaging of arterial nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in humans. Furthermore, potentially different vascular uptake patterns of this new tracer were evaluated in healthy volunteers and in patients with neurodegenerative disorders.
[18F]-2-Fluoro-A85380 was developed for in vivo positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of nAChR subunits in the human brain. These nAChRs are also found in arteries and seem to mediate the deleterious effects of nicotine as a part of tobacco smoke in the vasculature. It has been previously shown that uptake patterns of the radiotracer in the brain differs in patients with neurodegenerative disorders compared with healthy controls.
[18F]-2-Fluoro-A85380 uptake was quantified in the ascending and descending aorta, the aortic arch, and the carotids in 5 healthy volunteers and in 6 patients with either Parkinson’s disease or multiple system atrophy, respectively, as the maximum target-to-background ratio. The maximal standardized uptake value values, the single hottest segment, and the percent active segments of the [18F]-2-Fluoro-A85380 uptake in the arteries were also assessed.
[18F]-2-Fluoro-A85380 uptake was clearly visualized and maximum target-to-background ratio uptake values corrected for the background activity of the tracer showed specific tracer uptake in the arterial walls. Significantly higher uptake values were found in the descending aorta. Comparison between volunteers and patients revealed significant differences, with lower [18F]-2-Fluoro-A85380 uptake in the patient group when comparing single arterial territories but not when all arterial territories were pooled together.
[18F]-2-Fluoro-A85380 can provide specific information on the nAChR distribution in human arteries. Vascular nAChR density seems to be lower in patients with Parkinson’s disease or multiple system atrophy. Once confirmed in larger study populations and in the experimental setting, this approach might provide insights into the pathogenic role of nAChRs in the human vasculature.
arteries; multiple system atrophy; nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; Parkinson’s disease; positron emission tomography
Detection of (subclinical) synovitis is relevant for both early diagnosis and monitoring of therapy of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Previously, the potential of imaging (sub)clinical arthritis was demonstrated by targeting the translocator protein in activated macrophages using (R)-[11C]PK11195 and positron emission tomography (PET). Images, however, also showed significant peri-articular background activity. The folate receptor (FR)-β is a potential alternative target for imaging activated macrophages. Therefore, the PET tracer [18F]fluoro-PEG-folate was synthesized and evaluated in both in vitro and ex vivo studies using a methylated BSA induced arthritis model.
[18F]fluoro-PEG-folate was synthesized in a two-step procedure. Relative binding affinities of non-radioactive fluoro-PEG-folate, folic acid and naturally circulating 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-Me-THF) to FR were determined using KB cells with high expression of FR. Both in vivo [18F]fluoro-PEG-folate PET and ex vivo tissue distribution studies were performed in arthritic and normal rats and results were compared with those of the established macrophage tracer (R)-[11C]PK11195.
[18F]fluoro-PEG-folate was synthesized with a purity >97%, a yield of 300 to 1,700 MBq and a specific activity between 40 and 70 GBq/µmol. Relative in vitro binding affinity for FR of F-PEG-folate was 1.8-fold lower than that of folic acid, but 3-fold higher than that of 5-Me-THF. In the rat model, [18F]fluoro-PEG-folate uptake in arthritic knees was increased compared with both contralateral knees and knees of normal rats. Uptake in arthritic knees could be blocked by an excess of glucosamine-folate, consistent with [18F]fluoro-PEG-folate being specifically bound to FR. Arthritic knee-to-bone and arthritic knee-to-blood ratios of [18F]fluoro-PEG-folate were increased compared with those of (R)-[11C]PK11195. Reduction of 5-Me-THF levels in rat plasma to those mimicking human levels increased absolute [18F]fluoro-PEG-folate uptake in arthritic joints, but without improving target-to-background ratios.
The novel PET tracer [18F]fluoro-PEG-folate, designed to target FR on activated macrophages provided improved contrast in a rat model of arthritis compared with the accepted macrophage tracer (R)-[11C]PK11195. These results warrant further exploration of [18F]fluoro-PEG-folate as a putative PET tracer for imaging (sub)clinical arthritis in RA patients.
A dilemma in behavioral brain mapping is that conventional techniques immobilize the subject, extinguishing all but the simplest behaviors. This is avoided if brain activation is imaged after completion of the behavior and tissue capture of the tracer. A single-pass flow tracer proposed for positron emission tomography (PET) is a radiolabeled copper(II) complex of pyruvaldehyde bis(N4-methylthiosemicarbazone), [Cu64]-PTSM. [Cu64]-PTSM reaches steady-state cerebral distribution more rapidly than the metabolic tracer [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose, allowing imaging with substantially greater temporal resolution. Using dual-label autoradiography, this study compares the relative regional cerebral blood flow tracer distribution (CBF-TR) of [64Cu]-PTSM to that of the classic perfusion tracer [14C]-iodoantipyrine in a rat model during treadmill walking. Rats were exposed to continuous walking on a treadmill and compared to quiescent controls. [64Cu]-PTSM was bolus injected (iv) after 1 minute, followed by a 5 minute uptake and subsequent bolus injection of [14C]-iodoantipyrine. CBF-TR was quantified by autoradiography and analyzed in the three-dimensionally reconstructed brain by statistical parametric mapping, as well as by region-of-interest analysis. A high homology was found between the [64Cu]-PTSM and [14C]-iodoantipyrine patterns of cerebral activation in cortical and subcortical regions. For white matter, however, [64Cu]-PTSM showed lower perfusion than [14Cu]-iodoantipyrine. [64Cu]-PTSM is a useful tracer for functional brain mapping in freely-moving subjects. Its application in conjunction with PET promises to increase our understanding of the neural circuitry of behaviors dependent on locomotion.
In vitro data suggest that changes in myocardial substrate metabolism may contribute to impaired myocardial function in diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM). The purpose of the present study was to study in a rat model of early DCM, in vivo changes in myocardial substrate metabolism and their association with myocardial function.
Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) and Zucker lean (ZL) rats underwent echocardiography followed by [11C]palmitate positron emission tomography (PET) under fasting, and [18F]-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose PET under hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamp conditions. Isolated cardiomyocytes were used to determine isometric force development.
PET data showed a 66% decrease in insulin-mediated myocardial glucose utilisation and a 41% increase in fatty acid (FA) oxidation in ZDF vs. ZL rats (both p < 0.05). Echocardiography showed diastolic and systolic dysfunction in ZDF vs. ZL rats, which was paralleled by a significantly decreased maximal force (68%) and maximal rate of force redevelopment (69%) of single cardiomyocytes. Myocardial functional changes were significantly associated with whole-body insulin sensitivity and decreased myocardial glucose utilisation. ZDF hearts showed a 68% decrease in glucose transporter-4 mRNA expression (p < 0.05), a 22% decrease in glucose transporter-4 protein expression (p = 0.10), unchanged levels of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase-4 protein expression, a 57% decreased phosphorylation of AMP activated protein kinase α1/2 (p < 0.05) and a 2.4-fold increased abundance of the FA transporter CD36 to the sarcolemma (p < 0.01) vs. ZL hearts, which are compatible with changes in substrate metabolism. In ZDF vs. ZL hearts a 2.4-fold reduced insulin-mediated phosphorylation of Akt was found (p < 0.05).
Using PET and echocardiography, we found increases in myocardial FA oxidation with a concomitant decrease of insulin-mediated myocardial glucose utilisation in early DCM. In addition, the latter was associated with impaired myocardial function. These in vivo data expand previous in vitro findings showing that early alterations in myocardial substrate metabolism contribute to myocardial dysfunction.
The galactose analogue 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-galactose (FDGal) is a promising positron emission tomography (PET) tracer for studies of regional differences in liver metabolic function and for clinical evaluation of patients with liver cirrhosis and patients undergoing treatment of liver diseases. However, there is an unmet need for routine production of FDGal from readily available starting material. In this study, we present the preparation of FDGal with high radiochemical purity and in amounts sufficient for clinical investigations from commercially available Talose triflate (1,3,4,6-tetra-O-acetyl-2-O-trifluoromethanesulfonyl-β-D-talopyranose). In addition, the biodistribution of FDGal in the pig is presented.
FDGal was prepared by nucleophilic fluorination of Talose triflate followed by basic hydrolysis. The entire synthesis was performed using the GE TRACERlab MX 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) synthesizer and existing methods for quality control of FDG were applied. Biodistribution of FDGal was studied by successive whole-body PET recordings of two anaesthetized 37-kg pigs.
Up to 3.7 GBq sterile, pyrogen-free and no-carrier-added FDGal was produced with a radiochemical yield of 3.8±1.2% and a radiochemical purity of 98±1% (42 productions; yield is decay corrected). The adopted quality control methods for FDG were directly applicable for FDGal. Biodistribution studies in the pig revealed the liver and the urinary bladder as critical organs in terms of radiation dose.
Commercially available Talose triflate is a suitable starting material for routine productions of FDGal. The presented radiosynthesis and quality control methods allow for the production of pure, no-carrier-added FDGal in sufficient amounts for clinical PET-investigations of the liver.
Radiopharmaceutical; Galactose; Positron emission tomography; Nuclear hepatology; Liver metabolism
Past research has demonstrated that performance on frontal lobe-dependent tasks is associated with dopamine system integrity, and that various dopamine system deficits occur with aging. The positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer 6-[18F]-fluoro-L-m-tyrosine (FMT) is a substrate of the dopamine-synthesizing enzyme, aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC). Studies using 6-[18F]fluorodopa (FDOPA) (another AADC substrate) to measure how striatal PET signal and age relate have had inconsistent outcomes. The varying results occur in part from tracer processing that renders FDOPA signal subject to aspects of post-release metabolism, which may themselves change with aging. In contrast, FMT remains a purer measure of AADC function. We used partial volume corrected FMT PET scans to measure age-related striatal dopamine synthesis capacity in 21 older (mean 66.9) and 16 younger (mean 22.8) healthy adults. We also investigated how striatal FMT signal related to a cognitive measure of frontal lobe function. Older adults showed significantly greater striatal FMT signal than younger adults. Within the older group, FMT signal in dorsal caudate (DCA) and dorsal putamen (DPUT) was greater with age, suggesting compensation for deficits elsewhere in the dopamine system. In younger adults, FMT signal in DCA was lower with age, likely related to ongoing developmental processes. Younger adults who performed worse on tests of frontal lobe function showed greater FMT signal in right DCA, independent of age effects. Our data suggest that higher striatal FMT signal represents non-optimal dopamine processing. They further support a relationship between striatal dopamine processing and frontal lobe cognitive function.
FMT; PET; normal aging; striatum; cognition; aromatic amino acid decarboxylase; dopa decarboxylase; caudate; putamen; basal ganglia; prefrontal; upregulation
We examined whether cerebral metabolic rates for glucose (CMRglc) on 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are altered in cognitively normal apolipoprotein E (ApoE) E4 carriers with subjective memory complaints (SMC).
Twenty-eight middle-aged normal subjects (NL) were examined, including 13E4 carriers (E4+; 6 with SMC[SMC+] and 7 without SMC [SMC−]) and 15 noncarriers (E4−; 7 SMC + and 8 SMC−). Subjects received an FDG-PET scan and a lumbar puncture to measure CSF total (T-Tau) and hyperphosphorylated tau231 (P-Tau), 40 and 42 amino acid forms of β-amyloid (Aβ40 and Aβ42), and F2-isoprostane (IP).
As compared with E4−, E4+ subjects showed decreased CMRglc in AD-related brain regions and associated higher CSF IP, P-Tau, T-Tau, and P-Tau/Aβ42 levels (p’s < .05). As compared with SMC−, SMC+ subjects showed reduced parietotemporal and parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) CMRglc. A significant ApoE by SMC status interaction was found, with the E4+/SMC+ showing the lowest PHG CMRglc and the highest CSF IP, P-Tau, and P-Tau/Aβ42 levels as compared with all other subgroups (p’s ≤ .05). The combination of CSF and CMRglc measures significantly improved the accuracy of either measures alone in discriminating ApoE groups (86% accuracy, odds ratio [OR] = 4.1, p < .001) and E4+/SMC+ from all other subgroups (86% accuracy, OR = 3.7, p = .005). Parahippocampal gyrus CMRglc was the most accurate discriminator of SMC groups (75% accuracy, OR = 2.4, p < .001).
Normal E4 carriers with SMC show altered AD-related CSF and FDG-PET measures. Longitudinal studies are needed to assess whether these brain abnormalities foreshadow clinical decline.
Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid beta; ApoE; CSF; FDG-PET; isoprostane; normal aging; subjective memory complaints; tau
The clinical management of adults with low-grade gliomas (LGGs) remains a challenge. There is no curative treatment, and management of individual patients is a matter of deciding optimal timing as well as right treatment modality. In addition to conventional imaging techniques, positron emission tomography (PET) with amino acid tracers can facilitate diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
In this paper, the clinical applications of PET with amino acid tracers 11C-methyl-L-methionine (MET) and 18F-fluoro-ethyl-L-tyrosine (FET) for patients with LGG are summarized. We also discuss the value of PET for the long-term followup of this patient group. Monitoring metabolic activity by PET in individual patients during course of disease will provide insight in the biological behavior and evolution of these tumors. As such, spatial changes in tumor activity over time, including shifts of hot-spot regions within the tumor, may reflect intratumoral heterogeneity and correlate to clinical parameters.
The aim of the study was to compare 68Ga-chloride with 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG) for the imaging of pancreatic xenografts.
Rats with subcutaneous human pancreatic adenocarcinoma xenografts were evaluated in vivo by dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) and ex vivo by measuring radioactivity of excised tissues and by digital autoradiography of tumor cryosections.
Both tracers were capable of delineating all subcutaneous tumors from surrounding tissues by PET. The standardized uptake values of tumors by PET were 0.9 ± 0.3 (mean ± SD) for 68Ga-chloride (n = 13) and 1.8 ± 1.2 for FDG (n = 11). Ex vivo studies showed tumor-to-muscle ratio of 4.0 ± 0.3 for 68Ga-chloride (n = 4) and 7.9 ± 3.2 for FDG (n = 4).
68Ga-chloride delineated subcutaneously implanted pancreatic adenocarcinoma xenografts by PET, but the uptake was lower than FDG. Further studies to clarify the value of 68Ga-chloride for PET imaging of tumors are warranted.
Gallium-68; Fluorine-18 FDG; PET; Tumor xenografts
Recent studies have emphasized the importance of dopamine projections to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) for working memory (WM) function, although this system has rarely been studied in humans in vivo. However, dopamine and PFC activity can be directly measured with positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), respectively. In this study, we examined WM capacity, dopamine, and PFC function in healthy older participants in order to test the hypothesis that there is a relationship between these 3 factors. We used the PET tracer 6-[18F]fluoro-L-m-tyrosine to measure dopamine synthesis capacity in the striatum (caudate, putamen), and event-related fMRI to measure brain activation during different epochs (cue, delay, probe) of a WM task. Caudate (but not putamen) dopamine correlated positively with WM capacity, whereas putamen (but not caudate) dopamine correlated positively with motor speed. In addition, delay-related fMRI activation in a left inferior prefrontal region was related to both caudate dopamine and task accuracy, suggesting that this may be a critical site for the integration of WM maintenance processes. These results provide new evidence that striatal dopaminergic function is related to PFC-dependent functions, particularly brain activation and behavioral performance during WM tasks.
aging; caudate; fMRI; maintenance; PET; putamen
Aberrant neurotransmissions via glutamate and dopamine receptors have been the focus of biomedical research on the molecular basis of psychiatric disorders, but the mode of their interaction is yet to be uncovered. In this study, we demonstrated the pharmacological reversal of methamphetamine-stimulated dopaminergic overflow by suppression of group I metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptor in living primates and rodents. In vivo positron emission tomography (PET) was conducted on cynomolgus monkeys and rats using a full agonistic tracer for dopamine D2/3 receptor, (R)-2-11CH3O-N-n-propylnorapomorphine ([11C]MNPA), and fluctuation of kinetic data due to anesthesia was avoided by scanning awake subjects. Excessive release of dopamine induced by methamphetamine and abolishment of this alteration by treatment with an antagonist of group I mGlu receptors, 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP), were measured in both species as decreased binding potential due to increased dopamine and its recovery to baseline levels, respectively. Counteraction of MPEP to the methamphetamine-induced dopamine spillover was also supported neurochemically by microdialysis of unanesthetized rat striatum. Moreover, patch-clamp electrophysiological assays using acute brain slices prepared from rats indicated that direct targets of MPEP mechanistically involved in the effects of methamphetamine are present locally within the striatum. As MPEP alone did not markedly alter the baseline dopaminergic neurotransmission according to our PET and electrophysiological data, the present findings collectively extend the insights on dopamine-glutamate crosstalk from extrastriatal localization of responsible mGlu receptors to intrastriatal synergy, and support therapeutic interventions in case of disordered striatal dopaminergic status using group I mGlu receptor antagonists assessable by in vivo imaging techniques.
dopamine; glutamate; neurotransmission; PET; metabotropic glutamate receptor; methamphetamine; schizophrenia
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) with [18F] 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) was used to measure changes in regional brain glucose metabolism in response to optogenetic stimulation (using the excitatory channelrhodopsin-2) of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in awake rats. We demonstrated not only increases in brain glucose metabolism (BGluM) that correlated with c-Fos expression in the region of stimulation, but also BGluM increases in the ipsilateral striatum, periacqueductal gray, and somatosensory cortex, and in contralateral amgydala, ventral pallidum, globus pallidus, and hippocampus, as well as decreases in BGluM in regions of the default mode network (retrosplenial cortex and cingulate gyrus) and secondary motor cortex. Additional exploration of c-Fos expression in regions found to be activated by PET results found corroborating findings, with increased c-Fos expression in the ipsilateral somatosensory cortex, contralateral amygdala and globus pallidus, and bilateral periaqueductal gray. These findings are consistent with optogenetic excitation of the area of stimulation (NAc), as well as with stimulatory and inhibitory effects on downstream regions. They also confirm the utility of PET imaging to monitor connectivity in the awake rodent brain.
Clinical use of positron emission tomography (PET) is now well established in neurodegenerative disorders, especially in the diagnosis of dementia. Measurement of cerebral glucose metabolism is of significant value, and it facilitates early diagnosis, appropriate differential diagnosis, and the evaluation of drug treatment in patients with dementia. In addition, tracers offer new perspectives for studying the neuropathology of underlying dementia, such as the accumulation of amyloid proteins, tau-proteins, or the presence of neuroinflammation. Finally, PET tracer studies of different neurotransmitter systems in dementia may not only increase the understanding of pathophysiologic mechanisms of the different disorders, but also improve diagnostic accuracy. In conclusion, PET imaging with different tracers offers reliable biomarkers in dementia, which can assist clinicians in the diagnosis of different dementing disorders, especially in the situation of overlapping phenotypes.
PET/CT; dementia; Alzheimer’s disease
Imaging has played a variety of roles in the study of Alzheimer disease (AD) over the past four decades. Initially, computed tomography (CT) and then magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were used diagnostically to rule out other causes of dementia. More recently, a variety of imaging modalities including structural and functional MRI and positron emission tomography (PET) studies of cerebral metabolism with fluoro-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG) and amyloid tracers such as Pittsburgh Compound-B (PiB) have shown characteristic changes in the brains of patients with AD, and in prodromal and even presymptomatic states that can help rule-in the AD pathophysiological process. No one imaging modality can serve all purposes as each have unique strengths and weaknesses. These modalities and their particular utilities are discussed in this article. The challenge for the future will be to combine imaging biomarkers to most efficiently facilitate diagnosis, disease staging, and, most importantly, development of effective disease-modifying therapies.
Various neuroimaging modalities (e.g., MRI and PET) have shown characteristic changes in the brains of patients with Alzheimer disease. Identifying imaging biomarkers will facilitate diagnosis, disease staging, and drug development.
An intriguing biologic process in most adult mammals is post-pneumonectomy lung regeneration, that is, the removal of one lung (pneumonectomy) results in the rapid compensatory growth of the remaining lung. The spatial dependence and metabolic activity of the rodent lung during compensatory lung regeneration is largely unknown.
To determine if murine lung regeneration could be detected in vivo, we studied inbred mice 3, 7, 14, and 21 days after left pneumonectomy. The remaining lung was imaged using microCT as well as the glucose tracer 2-deoxy-2-[18 F]fluoro-d-glucose (18FDG) and positron-emission tomography (PET). Because of the compliance of the murine chest wall, reproducible imaging required orotracheal intubation and pressure-controlled ventilation during scanning.
After left pneumonectomy, the right lung progressively enlarged over the first 3 weeks. The cardiac lobe demonstrated the greatest percentage increase in size. Dry weights of the individual lobes largely mirrored the increase in lung volume. PET/CT imaging was used to identify enhanced metabolic activity within the individual lobes. In the cardiac lobe, 18FDG uptake was significantly increased in the day 14 cardiac lobe relative to preoperative values (p < .05). In contrast, the 18FDG uptake in the other three lobes was not statistically significant at any time point.
We conclude that the cardiac lobe is the dominant contributor to compensatory growth after murine pneumonectomy. Further, PET/CT scanning can detect both the volumetric increase and the metabolic changes associated with the regenerative growth in the murine cardiac lobe.
Lung; Regeneration; Computerized tomography; Positron-emission tomography
In Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy (IDC) an imbalance between myocardial oxygen consumption and supply has been postulated. The ensuing subclinical myocardial ischemia may contribute to progressive deterioration of LV function. β-blocker is the therapy of choice in these patients. However, not all patients respond to the same extent. The aim of this study was to elucidate whether differences between responders and non-responders can be identified with respect to regional myocardial perfusion reserve (MPR) and contractile performance.
Patients with newly diagnosed IDC underwent Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning using both 13N-ammonia as a perfusion tracer (baseline and dipyridamole stress), and 18F-fluoro-deoxyglucose as a metabolism tracer, and a dobutamine stress MRI. MRI and PET were repeated 6 months after maximal β-blocker therapy. MPR (assessed by PET) as well as wall motion score (WMS, assessed by MRI) were evaluated in a 17 segment-model. Functional response to β-blocker therapy was assigned as a stable or improved LVEF or diminished LVEF.
Sixteen patients were included (age 47.9 ± 11.5 years; 12 males, LVEF 28.6 ± 8.4%). Seven patients showed improved LVEF (9.7 ± 3.1%), and nine patients did not show improved LVEF (−3.4 ± 3.9%). MPR improved significantly in responders (1.56 ± .23 to 1.93 ± .49, P = .049), and MPR decreased in non-responders; however, not significantly (1.98 ± .70 to 1.61 ± .28, P = .064), but was significantly different between both groups (P = .017) after β-blocker therapy. A significant correlation was found between change in perfusion reserve and change in LVEF: a decrease in perfusion reserve was associated with a decrease in LVEF and vice versa. Summed rest score of wall motion in responders improved from 26 to 21 (P = .022) whereas in non-responders no change was observed from 26 to 25) (P = ns). Summed stress score of wall motion in responders improved from 23 to 21 (P = .027) whereas in non-responders no change was observed from 27 to 26) (P = ns).
In IDC patients, global as well as regional improvement after initiation of β-blocker treatment is accompanied by an improvement in regional perfusion parameters. On the other hand in IDC patients with further left ventricular function deterioration after initiation of β-blocker therapy this is accompanied by a decrease in perfusion reserve.
Left ventricular function; cardiomyopathy; PET imaging; magnetic resonance imaging
Development of reporter genes for multimodality molecular imaging is highly important. In contrast to the conventional strategies which have focused on fusing several reporter genes together to serve as multimodal reporters, human tyrosinase (TYR) – the key enzyme in melanin production – was evaluated in this study as a stand-alone reporter gene for in vitro and in vivo photoacoustic imaging (PAI), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). Human breast cancer cells MCF-7 transfected with a plasmid that encodes TYR (named as MCF-7-TYR) and non-transfected MCF-7 cells were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Melanin targeted N-(2-(diethylamino)ethyl)-18F-5-fluoropicolinamide was used as a PET reporter probe. In vivo PAI/MRI/PET imaging studies showed that MCF-7-TYR tumors achieved significant higher signals and tumor-to-background contrasts than those of MCF-7 tumor. Our study demonstrates that TYR gene can be utilized as a multifunctional reporter gene for PAI/MRI/PET both in vitro and in vivo.