Interference of anaesthetics with radioligand binding in neuroreceptor studies

  • Betina ElfvingEmail author
  • Berith Bjørnholm
  • Gitte Moos Knudsen
Short Communication


Evaluations of new emission tomography ligands are usually carried out in animals. In order to keep the animals in a restricted position during the scan session, anaesthesia is almost inevitable. In ex vivo rat studies we investigated the interference of ketamine/xylazine, zoletile mixture, isoflurane and halothane with the serotonin re-uptake site, the serotonin2A receptor and the dopamine re-uptake site by use of [3H]-(S)-citalopram, [18F]altanserin and [125I]PE2I, respectively. Ketamine/xylazine decreased the target-to-background ratio (mean ± SD) of [3H]-(S)-citalopram from 1.5±0.19 to 0.81±0.19 (P<0.05), whereas isoflurane and halothane increased the ratio from 1.5±0.19 to 1.9±0.24 and 2.1±0.13 (P<0.05), respectively. Only with the zoletile mixture did the ratio remain unaltered. None of the tested anaesthetics affected the target-to-background ratio of [18F]altanserin. The [125I]PE2I target-to-background ratio decreased with both ketamine/xylazine (from 12.4±0.81 to 10.1±1.4, P<0.05) and isoflurane (from 12.4±0.81 to 9.5±1.1, P<0.05) treated rats, whereas treatment with zoletile mixture and halothane left the ratio unaltered. It is concluded that prior to performance of neuroreceptor radioligand studies, the possible interaction between radioligands and anaesthetics should be carefully evaluated.


(S)-citalopram PE2I Altanserin Anaesthesia 



This work was supported by a research grant from The 1991 Pharmacy Foundation, Health Insurance Fund and the Lundbeck Foundation. We thank Denis Guilloteau, Service de Médecine Nucléaire, Tours, France for labelling [125I]PE2I. The excellent technical assistance by Inge Møller, Neurobiology Research Laboratory, University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Denmark is much appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Betina Elfving
    • 1
    Email author
  • Berith Bjørnholm
    • 2
  • Gitte Moos Knudsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurobiology Research Unit N9201University hospital RigshospitaletCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Computational ChemistryH. Lundbeck A/SCopenhagen-ValbyDenmark

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