Molecular Imaging and Biology

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 377–387

Translational Neuroimaging: Positron Emission Tomography Studies of Monoamine Oxidase


    • Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Jean Logan
    • Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Nora D. Volkow
    • National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health
  • Gene-Jack Wang
    • Brookhaven National Laboratory
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11307-005-0016-1

Cite this article as:
Fowler, J.S., Logan, J., Volkow, N.D. et al. Mol Imaging Biol (2005) 7: 377. doi:10.1007/s11307-005-0016-1


Positron emission tomography (PET) using radiotracers with high molecular specificity is an important scientific tool in studies of monoamine oxidase (MAO), an important enzyme in the regulation of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin as well as the dietary amine, tyramine. MAO occurs in two different subtypes, MAO A and MAO B, which have different substrate and inhibitor specificity and which are different gene products. The highly variable subtype distribution with different species makes human studies of special value. MAO A and B can be imaged in the human brain and certain peripheral organs using PET and carbon-11 (half-life 20.4 minutes) labeled mechanism-based irreversible inhibitors, clorgyline and l-deprenyl, respectively. In this article we introduce MAO and describe the development of these radiotracers and their translation from preclinical studies to the investigation of variables affecting MAO in the human brain and peripheral organs.

Key words

Monoamine oxidaseBrainTobacco smokePET

Copyright information

© Academy of Molecular Imaging 2005