Translocator protein (18?kDa) polymorphism (rs6971) explains in-vivo brain binding affinity of the PET radioligand [(18)F]-FEPPA.
ABSTRACT: [(18)F]-FEPPA binds to the 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) and is used in positron emission tomography (PET) to detect microglial activation. However, quantitative interpretations of the PET signal with new generation TSPO PET radioligands are confounded by large interindividual variability in binding affinity. This presents as a trimodal distribution, reflecting high-affinity binders (HABs), low-affinity binder (LAB), and mixed-affinity binders (MABs). Here, we show that one polymorphism (rs6971) located in exon 4 of the TSPO gene, which results in a nonconservative amino-acid substitution from alanine to threonine (Ala147Thr) in the TSPO protein, predicts [(18)F]-FEPPA total distribution volume in human brains. In addition, [(18)F]-FEPPA exhibits clearly different features in the shape of the time activity curves between genetic groups. Testing for the rs6971 polymorphism may allow quantitative interpretation of TSPO PET studies with new generation of TSPO PET radioligands.
Project description:One of the cellular markers of neuroinflammation is increased microglia activation, characterized by overexpression of mitochondrial 18kDa Translocator Protein (TSPO). TSPO expression can be quantified in-vivo using the positron emission tomography (PET) radioligand [(18)F]-FEPPA. This study examined microglial activation as measured with [(18)F]-FEPPA PET across the adult lifespan in a group of healthy volunteers. We performed genotyping for the rs6971 TS.PO gene polymorphism to control for the known variability in binding affinity. Thirty-three healthy volunteers (age range: 19-82years; 22 high affinity binders (HAB), 11 mixed affinity binders (MAB)) underwent [(18)F]-FEPPA PET scans, acquired on the High Resolution Research Tomograph (HRRT) and analyzed using a 2-tissue compartment model. Regression analyses were performed to examine the effect of age adjusting for genetic status on [(18)F]-FEPPA total distribution volumes (VT) in the hippocampus, temporal, and prefrontal cortex. We found no significant effect of age on [(18)F]-FEPPA VT (F (1,30)=0.918; p=0.346), and a significant effect of genetic polymorphism (F (1,30)=8.767; p=0.006). This is the first in-vivo study to evaluate age-related changes in TSPO binding, using the new generation TSPO radioligands. Increased neuroinflammation, as measured with [(18)F]-FEPPA PET was not associated with normal aging, suggesting that healthy elderly individuals may serve as useful benchmark against patients with neurodegenerative disorders where neuroinflammation may be present.
Project description:The ability to quantify translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) in white matter (WM) is important to understand the role of neuroinflammation in neurological disorders with WM involvement. This article aims to extend the utility of TSPO imaging in WM using a second-generation radioligand, [18F]-FEPPA, and high-resolution research tomograph (HRRT) positron emission tomography (PET) camera system. Four WM regions of interests (WM-ROI), relevant to the study of aging and neuroinflammatory diseases, were examined. The corpus callosum, cingulum bundle, superior longitudinal fasciculus, and posterior limb of internal capsule were delineated automatically onto subject's T1 -weighted magnetic resonance image using a diffusion tensor imaging-based WM template. The TSPO polymorphism (rs6971) stratified individuals to three genetic groups: high-affinity binders (HAB), mixed-affinity binders (MAB), and low-affinity binders. [18F]-FEPPA PET scans were acquired on 32 healthy subjects and analyzed using a full kinetic compartment analysis. The two-tissue compartment model showed moderate identifiability (coefficient of variation 15-19%) for [18F]-FEPPA total volume distribution (VT ) in WM-ROIs. Noise affects VT variability, although its effect on bias was small (6%). In a worst-case scenario, ≤6% of simulated data did not fit reliably. A simulation of increased TSPO density exposed minimal effect on variability and identifiability of [18F]-FEPPA VT in WM-ROIs. We found no association between age and [18F]-FEPPA VT in WM-ROIs. The VT values were 15% higher in HAB than in MAB, although the difference was not statistically significant. This study provides evidence for the utility and limitations of [18F]-FEPPA PET to measure TSPO expression in WM.
Project description:The imaging of translocator 18 kDa protein (TSPO) in living human brain with radioligands by positron emission tomography (PET) has become an important means for the study of neuroinflammatory conditions occurring in several neuropsychiatric disorders. The widely used prototypical PET radioligand [(11)C](R)-PK 11195 ([(11)C](R)-1; [N-methyl-(11)C](R)-N-sec-butyl-1-(2-chlorophenyl)-N-methylisoquinoline-3-carboxamide) gives a low PET signal and is difficult to quantify, whereas later generation radioligands have binding sensitivity to a human single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs6971, which imposes limitations on their utility for comparative quantitative PET studies of normal and diseased subjects. Recently, azaisosteres of 1 have been developed with improved drug-like properties, including enhanced TSPO affinity accompanied by moderated lipophilicity. Here we selected three of these new ligands (7-9) for labeling with carbon-11 and for evaluation in monkey as candidate PET radioligands for imaging brain TSPO. Each radioligand was readily prepared by (11)C-methylation of an N-desmethyl precursor and was found to give a high proportion of TSPO-specific binding in monkey brain. One of these radioligands, [(11)C]7, the direct 4-azaisostere of 1, presents many radioligand properties that are superior to those reported for [(11)C]1, including higher affinity, lower lipophilicity, and stable quantifiable PET signal. Importantly, 7 was also found to show very low sensitivity to the human SNP rs6971 in vitro. Therefore, [(11)C]7 now warrants evaluation in human subjects with PET to assess its utility for imaging TSPO in human brain, irrespective of subject genotype.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Positron emission tomography (PET) studies with radioligands for 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) have been instrumental in increasing our understanding of the complex role neuroinflammation plays in disorders affecting the brain. However, (R)-[<sup>11</sup>C]PK11195, the first and most widely used TSPO radioligand has limitations, while the next-generation TSPO radioligands have suffered from high interindividual variability in binding due to a genetic polymorphism in the TSPO gene (rs6971). Herein, we present the biological evaluation of the two enantiomers of [<sup>18</sup>F]GE387, which we have previously shown to have low sensitivity to this polymorphism.<h4>Methods</h4>Dynamic PET scans were conducted in male Wistar rats and female rhesus macaques to investigate the in vivo behaviour of (S)-[<sup>18</sup>F]GE387 and (R)-[<sup>18</sup>F]GE387. The specific binding of (S)-[<sup>18</sup>F]GE387 to TSPO was investigated by pre-treatment with (R)-PK11195. (S)-[<sup>18</sup>F]GE387 was further evaluated in a rat model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation. Sensitivity to polymorphism of (S)-GE387 was evaluated in genotyped human brain tissue.<h4>Results</h4>(S)-[<sup>18</sup>F]GE387 and (R)-[<sup>18</sup>F]GE387 entered the brain in both rats and rhesus macaques. (R)-PK11195 blocked the uptake of (S)-[<sup>18</sup>F]GE387 in healthy olfactory bulb and peripheral tissues constitutively expressing TSPO. A 2.7-fold higher uptake of (S)-[<sup>18</sup>F]GE387 was found in the inflamed striatum of LPS-treated rodents. In genotyped human brain tissue, (S)-GE387 was shown to bind similarly in low affinity binders (LABs) and high affinity binders (HABs) with a LAB to HAB ratio of 1.8.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We established that (S)-[<sup>18</sup>F]GE387 has favourable kinetics in healthy rats and non-human primates and that it can distinguish inflamed from normal brain regions in the LPS model of neuroinflammation. Crucially, we have reconfirmed its low sensitivity to the TSPO polymorphism on genotyped human brain tissue. Based on these factors, we conclude that (S)-[<sup>18</sup>F]GE387 warrants further evaluation with studies on human subjects to assess its suitability as a TSPO PET radioligand for assessing neuroinflammation.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Translocator protein 18-kDa (TSPO) positron emission tomography (PET) is a valuable tool to detect neuroinflammed areas in a broad spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the clinical application of second-generation TSPO ligands as biomarkers is limited because of the presence of human rs6971 polymorphism that affects their binding. Here, we describe the ability of a new TSPO ligand, [<sup>18</sup>F]BS224, to identify abnormal TSPO expression in neuroinflammation independent of the rs6971 polymorphism.<h4>Methods</h4>An in vitro competitive inhibition assay of BS224 was conducted with [<sup>3</sup>H]PK 11195 using membrane proteins isolated from 293FT cells expressing TSPO-wild type (WT) or TSPO-mutant A147T (Mut), corresponding to a high-affinity binder (HAB) and low-affinity binder (LAB), respectively. Molecular docking was performed to investigate the interaction of BS224 with the binding sites of rat TSPO-WT and TSPO-Mut. We synthesized a new <sup>18</sup>F-labeled imidazopyridine acetamide ([<sup>18</sup>F]BS224) using boronic acid pinacol ester 6 or iodotoluene tosylate precursor 7, respectively, via aromatic <sup>18</sup>F-fluorination. Dynamic PET scanning was performed up to 90 min after the injection of [<sup>18</sup>F]BS224 to healthy mice, and PET imaging data were obtained to estimate its absorbed doses in organs. To evaluate in vivo TSPO-specific uptake of [<sup>18</sup>F]BS224, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory and ischemic stroke rat models were used.<h4>Results</h4>BS224 exhibited a high affinity (K<sub>i</sub> = 0.51 nM) and selectivity for TSPO. The ratio of IC<sub>50</sub> values of BS224 for LAB to that for HAB indicated that the TSPO binding affinity of BS224 has low binding sensitivity to the rs6971 polymorphism and it was comparable to that of PK 11195, which is not sensitive to the polymorphism. Docking simulations showed that the binding mode of BS224 is not affected by the A147T mutation and consequently supported the observed in vitro selectivity of [<sup>18</sup>F]BS224 regardless of polymorphisms. With optimal radiochemical yield (39 ± 6.8%, decay-corrected) and purity (> 99%), [<sup>18</sup>F]BS224 provided a clear visible image of the inflammatory lesion with a high signal-to-background ratio in both animal models (BP<sub>ND</sub> = 1.43 ± 0.17 and 1.57 ± 0.37 in the LPS-induced inflammatory and ischemic stroke rat models, respectively) without skull uptake.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our results suggest that [<sup>18</sup>F]BS224 may be a promising TSPO ligand to gauge neuroinflammatory disease-related areas in a broad range of patients irrespective of the common rs6971 polymorphism.
Project description:For PET imaging of 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO), a biomarker of neuroinflammation, most second-generation radioligands are sensitive to the single nucleotide polymorphism rs6971; however, this is probably not the case for the prototypical agent 11C-PK11195 (11C-labeled N-butan-2-yl-1-(2-chlorophenyl)-N-methylisoquinoline-3-carboxamide), which has a relatively lower signal-to-noise ratio. We recently found that 11C-ER176 (11C-(R)-N-sec-butyl-4-(2-chlorophenyl)-N-methylquinazoline-2-carboxamide), a new analog of 11C-(R)-PK11195, showed little sensitivity to rs6971 when tested in vitro and had high specific binding in monkey brain. This study sought, first, to determine whether the sensitivity of 11C-ER176 in humans is similar to the low sensitivity measured in vitro and, second, to measure the nondisplaceable binding potential (BPND, or the ratio of specific-to-nondisplaceable uptake) of 11C-ER176 in human brain.Nine healthy volunteers-3 high-affinity binders (HABs), 3 mixed-affinity binders (MABs), and 3 low-affinity binders (LABs)-were studied with whole-body 11C-ER176 PET imaging. SUVs from 60 to 120 min after injection derived from each organ were compared between genotypes. Eight separate healthy volunteers-3 HABs, 3 MABs, and 2 LABs-underwent brain PET imaging. The 3 HABs underwent a repeated brain scan after TSPO blockade with XBD173 (N-benzyl-N-ethyl-2-(7-methyl-8-oxo-2-phenylpurin-9-yl)acetamide) to determine nondisplaceable distribution volume (VND) via Lassen occupancy plotting and thereby estimate BPND in brain.Regional SUV averaged from 60 to 120 min after injection in brain and peripheral organs with high TSPO densities such as lung and spleen were greater in HABs than in LABs. On the basis of VND determined via the occupancy plot, the whole-brain BPND for LABs was estimated to be 1.4 ± 0.8, which was much lower than that for HABs (4.2 ± 1.3) but about the same as that for HABs with 11C-PBR28 ([methyl-11C]N-acetyl-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)-2-phenoxy-5-pyridinamine)) (?1.2).Obvious in vivo sensitivity to rs6971 was observed in 11C-ER176 that had not been expected from in vitro studies, suggesting that the future development of any improved radioligand for TSPO should consider the possibility that in vitro properties will not be reflected in vivo. We also found that 11C-ER176 has adequately high BPND for all rs6971 genotypes. Thus, the new radioligand would likely have greater sensitivity in detecting abnormalities in patients.
Project description:Neuroinflammation and abnormal immune responses have been implicated in schizophrenia (SCZ). Past studies using positron emission tomography (PET) that examined neuroinflammation in patients with SCZ in vivo using the translocator protein 18kDa (TSPO) target were limited by the insensitivity of the first-generation imaging agent [(11)C]-PK11195, scanners used, and the small sample sizes studied. Present study uses a novel second-generation TSPO PET radioligand N-acetyl-N-(2-[(18)F]fluoroethoxybenzyl)-2-phenoxy-5-pyridinamine ([(18)F]-FEPPA) to evaluate whether there is increased neuroinflammation in patients with SCZ. A cross-sectional study was performed using [(18)F]-FEPPA and a high-resolution research tomograph (HRRT). Eighteen patients with SCZ with ongoing psychotic symptoms and 27 healthy volunteers (HV) were recruited from a tertiary psychiatric clinical setting and the community, respectively. All participants underwent [(18)F]-FEPPA PET and magnetic resonance imaging, and PET data were analyzed to obtain [(18)F]-FEPPA total volume of distribution (VT) using a 2-tissue compartment model with an arterial plasma input function, as previously validated. All subjects were classified as high-, medium- or low-affinity [(18)F]-FEPPA binders on the basis of rs6971 polymorphism, and genotype information was incorporated into the analyses of imaging outcomes. No significant differences in neuroinflammation indexed as [(18)F]-FEPPA VT were observed between groups in either gray (F(1,39) = 0.179, P = .674) or white matter regions (F(1,38) = 0.597, P = .445). The lack of significant difference in neuroinflammation in treated patients with SCZ in the midst of a psychotic episode and HV suggests that neuroinflammatory processes may take place early in disease progression or are affected by antipsychotic treatment.
Project description:Neuroinflammatory processes including activated microglia have been reported to play an important role in Parkinson's disease (PD). Increased expression of translocator protein (TSPO) has been observed after brain injury and inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases. Positron emission tomography (PET) radioligand targeting TSPO allows for the quantification of neuroinflammation in vivo.Based on the genotype of the rs6791 polymorphism in the TSPO gene, we included 25 mixed-affinity binders (MABs) (14 PD patients and 11 age-matched healthy controls (HC)) and 27 high-affinity binders (HABs) (16 PD patients and 11 age-matched HC) to assess regional differences in the second-generation radioligand [18F]-FEPPA between PD patients and HC. FEPPA total distribution volume (V T) values in cortical as well as subcortical brain regions were derived from a two-tissue compartment model with arterial plasma as an input function.Our results revealed a significant main effect of genotype on [18F]-FEPPA V T in every brain region, but no main effect of disease or disease × genotype interaction in any brain region. The overall percentage difference of the mean FEPPA V T between HC-MABs and HC-HABs was 32.6% (SD?=?2.09) and for PD-MABs and PD-HABs was 43.1% (SD?=?1.21).Future investigations are needed to determine the significance of [18F]-FEPPA as a biomarker of neuroinflammation as well as the importance of the rs6971 polymorphism and its clinical consequence in PD.
Project description:Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is defined as a transitional state between normal aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Given the replicated finding of increased microglial activation in AD, we sought to investigate whether microglial activation is also elevated in aMCI and whether it is related to amyloid beta (A?) burden in-vivo . Eleven aMCI participants and 14 healthy volunteers completed positron emission tomography (PET) scans with [18F]-FEPPA and [11C]-PIB. Given the known sensitivity in affinity of second-generation TSPO radioligands, participants were genotyped for the TSPO polymorphism and only high-affinity binders were included. Dynamic [18F]-FEPPA PET images were analyzed using the 2-tissue compartment model with arterial plasma input function. Additionally, a supplementary method, the standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR), was explored. [11C]-PIB PET images were analyzed using the Logan graphical method. aMCI participants had significantly higher [11C]-PIB binding in the cortical regions. No significant differences in [18F]-FEPPA binding were observed between aMCI participants and healthy volunteers. In the aMCI group, [18F]-FEPPA and [11C]-PIB bindings were correlated in the hippocampus. There were no correlations between our PET measures and cognition. Our findings demonstrate that while A? burden is evident in the aMCI stage, microglial activation may not be present.
Project description:Activation of brain microglial cells, microgliosis, has been linked to methamphetamine (MA)-seeking behavior, suggesting that microglia could be a new therapeutic target for MA use disorder. Animal data show marked brain microglial activation following acute high-dose MA, but microglial status in human MA users is uncertain, with one positron emission tomography (PET) investigation reporting massively and globally increased translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO; [C-11](R)-PK11195) binding, a biomarker for microgliosis, in MA users. Our aim was to measure binding of a second-generation TSPO radioligand, [F-18]FEPPA, in brain of human chronic MA users. Regional total volume of distribution (V<sub>T</sub> ) of [F-18]FEPPA was estimated with a two-tissue compartment model with arterial plasma input function for 10 regions of interest in 11 actively using MA users and 26 controls. A RM-ANOVA corrected for TSPO rs6971 polymorphism was employed to test significance. There was no main effect of group on [F-18]FEPPA V<sub>T</sub> (P = .81). No significant correlations between [F-18]FEPPA V<sub>T</sub> and MA use duration, weekly dosage, blood MA concentrations, regional brain volumes, and self-reported craving were observed. Our preliminary findings, consistent with our earlier postmortem data, do not suggest substantial brain microgliosis in MA use disorder but do not rule out microglia as a therapeutic target in MA addiction. Absence of increased [F-18]FEPPA TSPO binding might be related to insufficient MA dose or blunting of microglial response following repeated MA exposure, as suggested by some animal data.