Neuroinflammation in healthy aging: A PET study using a novel Translocator Protein 18kDa (TSPO) radioligand, [18F]-FEPPA

  • Suridjan I
  • Rusjan P
  • Voineskos A
 et al. 
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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 [18F]-FEPPA. This study examined microglial activation as measured with [18F]-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 [18F]-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 [18F]-FEPPA total distribution volumes (VT) in the hippocampus, temporal, and prefrontal cortex. We found no significant effect of age on [18F]-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 [18F]-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. © 2013.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Healthy aging
  • Microglia activation
  • Neuroinflammation
  • PET imaging
  • TSPO

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  • Thiviya SelvanathanFaculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

  • I. Suridjan

  • P. M. Rusjan

  • A. N. Voineskos

  • E. Setiawan

  • A. P. Strafella

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