Quantitative imaging of neuroinflammation in human white matter: a positron emission tomography study with translocator protein 18 kDa radioligand, [18F]-FEPPA.
ABSTRACT: 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:This study investigated whether the second-generation translocator protein 18kDa (TSPO) radioligand, [18F]-FEPPA, could be used in neurodegenerative parkinsonian disorders as a biomarker for detecting neuroinflammation in the striatum. Neuroinflammation has been implicated as a potential mechanism for the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radioligand targeting for TSPO allows for the quantification of neuroinflammation in vivo. Based on genotype of the rs6791 polymorphism in the TSPO gene, 16 mixed-affinity binders (MABs) (8 PD and age-matched 8 healthy controls (HCs)), 16 high-affinity binders (HABs) (8 PD and age-matched 8 HCs) and 4 low-affinity binders (LABs) (3 PD and 1 HCs) were identified. Total distribution volume (VT) values in the striatum were derived from a two-tissue compartment model with arterial plasma as an input function. There was a significant main effect of genotype on [18F]-FEPPA VT values in the caudate nucleus (p = 0.001) and putamen (p < 0.001), but no main effect of disease or disease x genotype interaction in either ROI. In the HAB group, the percentage difference between PD and HC was 16% in both caudate nucleus and putamen; in the MAB group, it was -8% and 3%, respectively. While this PET study showed no evidence of increased striatal TSPO expression in PD patients, the current findings provide some insights on the possible interactions between rs6791 polymorphism and neuroinflammation in PD.
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:Neuroinflammation and abnormal immune responses are increasingly implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Previous positron emission tomography (PET) studies targeting the translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) have been limited by high nonspecific binding of the first-generation radioligand, low-resolution scanners, small sample sizes, and psychotic patients being on antipsychotics or not being in the first episode of their illness. The present study uses the novel second-generation TSPO PET radioligand [18F]FEPPA to evaluate whether microglial activation is elevated in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of untreated patients with first-episode psychosis.Nineteen untreated patients with first-episode psychosis (14 of them antipsychotic naive) and 20 healthy volunteers underwent a high-resolution [18F]FEPPA PET scan and MRI. Dynamic PET data were analyzed using the validated two-tissue compartment model with arterial plasma input function with total volume of distribution (VT) as outcome measure. All analyses were corrected for TSPO rs6971 polymorphism (which is implicated in differential binding affinity).No significant differences were observed between patients and healthy volunteers in microglial activation, as indexed by [18F]FEPPA VT, in either the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or the hippocampus. There were no significant correlations between [18F]FEPPA VT and duration of illness, clinical presentation, or neuropsychological measures after adjusting for multiple testing.The lack of significant differences in [18F]FEPPA VT between groups suggests that microglial activation is not present in first-episode psychosis.
Project description:Several lines of evidence implicate microglial activation and abnormal immune response in the etiology of psychosis. Previous positron emission tomography (PET) neuroimaging studies of the translocator protein 18?kDa, TSPO, were limited by low affinity of the first-generation radioligand, low-resolution scanners, and small sample sizes. Moreover, there is a dearth of literature on microglial activation in individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis. We used a novel second-generation TSPO radioligand, [18F]FEPPA, to examine whether microglial activation is elevated in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and hippocampus of antipsychotic-naive CHR. Twenty-four CHR (antipsychotic-naive n=22) and 23 healthy volunteers (HV) completed a high resolution [18F]FEPPA PET scan and MRI. The PET data were analyzed using the validated two-tissue compartment model with arterial plasma input function with total volume of distribution (VT) as outcome measure. All analyses were controlled for the TSPO rs6971 polymorphism. We did not observe any significant differences in microglial activation, as indexed by [18F]FEPPA VT, between CHR and HV in either the DLPFC (F(1, 44)=0.41, p=0.52) or the hippocampus (F(1, 44)=2.78, p=0.10). Exploratory associations show that in CHR, [18F]FEPPA VT was positively correlated with apathy (DLPFC: r=0.55, p=0.008; hippocampus: r=0.52, p=0.013) and state anxiety (DLPFC: r=0.60, p=0.003; hippocampus: r=0.48, p=0.024). The lack of significant group differences in [18F]FEPPA VT suggests that microglial activation is not significantly elevated in the clinical high risk state that precedes psychosis.
Project description:[18F]FEPPA is a specific ligand for the translocator protein of 18 kDa (TSPO) used as a positron emission tomography (PET) biomarker for glial activation and neuroinflammation. [18F]FEPPA radiosynthesis was optimized to assess in a mouse model the cerebral inflammation induced by an intraperitoneal injection of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium lipopolysaccharides (LPS; 5 mg/kg) 24 h before PET imaging. [18F]FEPPA was synthesized by nucleophilic substitution (90 °C, 10 min) with tosylated precursor, followed by improved semi-preparative HPLC purification (retention time 14 min). [18F]FEPPA radiosynthesis were carried out in 55 min (from EOB). The non-decay corrected radiochemical yield were 34 ± 2% (n = 17), and the radiochemical purity greater than 99%, with a molar activity of 198 ± 125 GBq/µmol at the end of synthesis. Western blot analysis demonstrated a 2.2-fold increase in TSPO brain expression in the LPS treated mice compared to controls. This was consistent with the significant increase of [18F]FEPPA brain total volume of distribution (VT) estimated with pharmacokinetic modelling. In conclusion, [18F]FEPPA radiosynthesis was implemented with high yields. The new purification/formulation with only class 3 solvents is more suitable for in vivo studies.
Project description:Altered neuroimmune response and oxidative stress have both been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. While preclinical studies have proposed several pathways regarding potential interactions between oxidative stress and neuroimmune imbalance in the development of psychosis, the molecular mechanisms underlying this interaction are not yet understood. To date, no study has investigated this link in vivo in the human brain. We conducted the first in vivo study linking translocator protein 18??kDa (TSPO) expression and glutathione (a major brain antioxidant and a marker for redox status) in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of a relatively large sample of participants (N?=?48) including 27 antipsychotic-naïve individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis and 21 matched healthy volunteers using high-resolution PET with TSPO radioligand, [18F]FEPPA, and 3T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS). The omnibus model (including TSPO genotype as covariate) was significant (F(4, 43)?=?10.01, p?<?0.001), with a significant group interaction (t?=?-2.10, p?=?0.04), suggesting a different relation between [18F]FEPPA VT and glutathione in each clinical group. In healthy volunteers, but not in individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis, we found a significant negative association between glutathione levels and [18F]FEPPA VT (r?=?-0.60, p?=?0.006). We observed no significant group differences with respect to [18F]FEPPA VT or glutathione levels. These findings suggest an abnormal interaction between TSPO expression and redox status in the clinical high risk states for psychosis.
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: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:Psychosis is associated with abnormal structural changes in the brain including decreased regional brain volumes and abnormal brain morphology. However, the underlying causes of these structural abnormalities are less understood. The immune system, including microglial activation, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychosis. Although previous studies have suggested a connection between peripheral proinflammatory cytokines and structural brain abnormalities in schizophrenia, no in-vivo studies have investigated whether microglial activation is also linked to brain structure alterations previously observed in schizophrenia and its putative prodrome. In this study, we investigated the link between mitochondrial 18?kDa translocator protein (TSPO) and structural brain characteristics (i.e. regional brain volume, cortical thickness, and hippocampal shape) in key brain regions such as dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of a large group of participants (N?=?90) including individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis, first-episode psychosis (mostly antipsychotic-naïve) patients, and healthy volunteers. The participants underwent structural brain MRI scan and [18F]FEPPA positron emission tomography (PET) targeting TSPO. A significant [18F]FEPPA binding-by-group interaction was observed in morphological measures across the left hippocampus. In first-episode psychosis, we observed associations between [18F]FEPPA VT (total volume of distribution) and outward and inward morphological alterations, respectively, in the dorsal and ventro-medial portions of the left hippocampus. These associations were not significant in CHR or healthy volunteers. There was no association between [18F]FEPPA VT and other structural brain characteristics. Our findings suggest a link between TSPO expression and alterations in hippocampal morphology in first-episode psychosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Accurate and sensitive imaging biomarkers are required to study the progression of white matter (WM) inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases. Radioligands targeting the translocator protein (TSPO) are considered sensitive indicators of neuroinflammation, but it is not clear how well the expression of TSPO coincides with major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII) molecules in WM. This study aimed to test the ability of TSPO to detect activated WM microglia that are immunohistochemically positive for MHCII in rat models of prodromal Alzheimer's disease and acute subcortical stroke. METHODS:Fischer 344 wild-type (n?=?12) and TgAPP21 (n?=?11) rats were imaged with [18F]FEPPA PET and MRI to investigate TSPO tracer uptake in the corpus callosum, a WM region known to have high levels of MHCII activated microglia in TgAPP21 rats. Wild-type rats subsequently received an endothelin-1 (ET1) subcortical stroke and were imaged at days 7 and 28 post-stroke before immunohistochemistry of TSPO, GFAP, iNOS, and the MHCII rat antigen, OX6. RESULTS:[18F]FEPPA PET was not significantly affected by genotype in WM and only detected increases near the ET1 infarct (P?=?0.033, infarct/cerebellum uptake ratio: baseline?=?0.94?±?0.16; day 7?=?2.10?±?0.78; day 28?=?1.77?±?0.35). Immunohistochemistry confirmed that only the infarct (TSPO cells/mm2: day 7?=?555?±?181; day 28?=?307?±?153) and WM that is proximal to the infarct had TSPO expression (TSPO cells/mm2: day 7?=?113?±?93; day 28?=?5?±?7). TSPO and iNOS were not able to detect the chronic WM microglial activation that was detected with MHCII in the contralateral corpus callosum (day 28 OX6% area: saline?=?0.62?±?0.38; stroke?=?4.30?±?2.83; P?=?.029). CONCLUSION:TSPO was only expressed in the stroke-induced insult and proximal tissue and therefore was unable to detect remote and non-insult-related chronically activated microglia overexpressing MHCII in WM. This suggests that research in neuroinflammation, particularly in the WM, would benefit from MHCII-sensitive radiotracers.