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The normal pituitary examined with positron emission tomography and (methyl-11C)-L-methionine and (methyl-11C)-D-methionine

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Four patients with radiologically normal pituitary gland were examined with positron emission tomography after the administration of (methyl-11C)-L-methionine. On a following day the examination was repeated with (methyl-11c)-D-methionine. The accumulation rate of L-methionine in the pituitary was measured, giving a value that was about twice that of normal brain tissue. The accumulation rate of D-methionine in the pituitary was almost a factor of 10 lower than that of L-methionine. In the normal brain tissue that ratio was 2.3. The study clearly indicates that the methionine uptake in the pituitary is stereospecific. 11C-D-methionine is freely distributed in the tissue without entrapment, whereas 11C-L-methionine is irreversibly bound. It is concluded that PET with 11C-L-methionine can be used to study amino acid utilization in the pituitary.

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Bergström, M., Muhr, C., Ericson, K. et al. The normal pituitary examined with positron emission tomography and (methyl-11C)-L-methionine and (methyl-11C)-D-methionine. Neuroradiology 29, 221–225 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00451757

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Key words

  • Positron emission tomography
  • Brain metabolism
  • Amino acids
  • Stereospecificity
  • Pituitary gland