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Brendel, Matthias; Probst, Federico; Jaworska, Anna; Overhoff, Felix; Korzhova, Viktoria; Albert, Nathalie L.; Beck, Roswitha; Lindner, Simon; Gildehaus, Franz-Josef; Baumann, Karlheinz; Bartenstein, Peter; Kleinberger, Gernot; Haass, Christian ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4869-1627; Herms, Jochen and Rominger, Axel (2016): Glial Activation and Glucose Metabolism in a Transgenic Amyloid Mouse Model: A Triple-Tracer PET Study. In: Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Vol. 57, No. 6: pp. 954-960

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Amyloid imaging by small-animal PET in models of Alzheimer disease (AD) offers the possibility to track amyloidogenesis and brain energy metabolism. Because microglial activation is thought to contribute to AD pathology, we undertook a triple-tracer small animal PET study to assess microglial activation and glucose metabolism in association with amyloid plaque load in a transgenic AD mouse model. Methods: Groups of PS2APP and C57BL/6 wild type mice of various ages were examined by small-animal PET. We acquired 90-min dynamic emission data with F-18-GE180 for imaging activated microglia (18-kD translocator protein ligand [TSPO]) and static 30- to 60-min recordings with F-18-FDG for energy metabolism and F-18-florbetaben for amyloidosis. Optimal fusion of PET data was obtained through automatic nonlinear spatial normalization, and SUVRs were calculated. For the novel TSPO tracer F-18-GE180, we then calculated distribution volume ratios after establishing a suitable reference region. lmmuno-histochemical analyses with TSPO antisera, methoxy-X04 staining for fibrillary (beta-amyloid, and ex vivo autoradiography served as terminal gold standard assessments. Results: SUVR at 60-90 min after injection gave robust quantitation of F-18-GE180, which correlated well with distribution volume ratios calculated from the entire recording and using a white matter reference region. Relative to age-matched wild-type, F-18-GE180 SUVR was slightly elevated in PS2APP mice at 5 mo (+9%;P < 0.01) and distinctly increased at 16 mo (+25%;P < 0.001). Over this age range, there was a high positive correlation between small-animal PET findings of microglial activation with amyloid load (R = 0.85;P < 0.001) and likewise with metabolism (R = 0.61;P < 0.005). Immunohistochemical and autoradiographic findings confirmed the in vivo small-animal PET data. Conclusion: In this first triple-tracer small-animal PET in a well-established AD mouse model, we found evidence for age-dependent microglial activation. This activation, correlating positively with the amyloid load, implies a relationship between amyloidosis and inflammation in the PS2APP AD mouse model.

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