Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 354–361

Translocator Protein PET Imaging for Glial Activation in Multiple Sclerosis

  • Unsong Oh
  • Masahiro Fujita
  • Vasiliki N. Ikonomidou
  • Iordanis E. Evangelou
  • Eiji Matsuura
  • Erin Harberts
  • Joan Ohayon
  • Victor W. Pike
  • Yi Zhang
  • Sami S. Zoghbi
  • Robert B. Innis
  • Steven Jacobson
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

DOI: 10.1007/s11481-010-9243-6

Cite this article as:
Oh, U., Fujita, M., Ikonomidou, V.N. et al. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol (2011) 6: 354. doi:10.1007/s11481-010-9243-6

Abstract

Glial activation in the setting of central nervous system inflammation is a key feature of the multiple sclerosis (MS) pathology. Monitoring glial activation in subjects with MS, therefore, has the potential to be informative with respect to disease activity. The translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) is a promising biomarker of glial activation that can be imaged by positron emission tomography (PET). To characterize the in vivo TSPO expression in MS, we analyzed brain PET scans in subjects with MS and healthy volunteers in an observational study using [11C]PBR28, a newly developed translocator protein-specific radioligand. The [11C]PBR28 PET showed altered compartmental distribution of TSPO in the MS brain compared to healthy volunteers (p = 0.019). Focal increases in [11C]PBR28 binding corresponded to areas of active inflammation as evidenced by significantly greater binding in regions of gadolinium contrast enhancement compared to contralateral normal-appearing white matter (p = 0.0039). Furthermore, increase in [11C]PBR28 binding preceded the appearance of contrast enhancement on magnetic resonance imaging in some lesions, suggesting a role for early glial activation in MS lesion formation. Global [11C]PBR28 binding showed correlation with disease duration (p = 0.041), but not with measures of clinical disability. These results further define TSPO as an informative marker of glial activation in MS.

Keywords

Multiple sclerosis Translocator protein PET Glial activation 

Copyright information

© US Government 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Unsong Oh
    • 1
  • Masahiro Fujita
    • 2
  • Vasiliki N. Ikonomidou
    • 3
  • Iordanis E. Evangelou
    • 1
  • Eiji Matsuura
    • 4
  • Erin Harberts
    • 1
  • Joan Ohayon
    • 1
  • Victor W. Pike
    • 2
  • Yi Zhang
    • 2
  • Sami S. Zoghbi
    • 2
  • Robert B. Innis
    • 2
  • Steven Jacobson
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuroimmunology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Molecular Imaging Branch, National Institute of Mental HealthNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The Volgenau School of Information Technology and EngineeringGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  4. 4.Department of Neurology and GeriatricsKagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesKagoshimaJapan

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