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Concept: Carbon-11


Because curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties may protect the brain from neurodegeneration, we studied its effect on memory in non-demented adults and explored its impact on brain amyloid and tau accumulation using 2-(1-{6-[(2-[F-18]fluoroethyl)(methyl)amino]-2-naphthyl}ethylidene)malononitrile positron emission tomography (FDDNP-PET).

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Positron emission tomography, Positron, Neurology, Hippocampus, Positron emission, Carbon-11, Fluorine-18


Positron emission tomography (PET) with (15)O tracers provides essential information in patients with cerebral vascular disorders, such as cerebral blood flow (CBF), oxygen extraction fraction (OEF), and metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2)). However, most of techniques require an additional C(15)O scan for compensating cerebral blood volume (CBV). We aimed to establish a technique to calculate all functional images only from a single dynamic PET scan, without losing accuracy or statistical certainties. The technique was an extension of previous dual-tracer autoradiography (DARG) approach, but based on the basis function method (DBFM), thus estimating all functional parametric images from a single session of dynamic scan acquired during the sequential administration of H(2)(15)O and (15)O(2). Validity was tested on six monkeys by comparing global OEF by PET with those by arteriovenous blood sampling, and tested feasibility on young healthy subjects. The mean DBFM-derived global OEF was 0.57±0.06 in monkeys, in an agreement with that by the arteriovenous method (0.54±0.06). Image quality was similar and no significant differences were seen from DARG; 3.57%±6.44% and 3.84%±3.42% for CBF, and -2.79%±11.2% and -6.68%±10.5% for CMRO(2). A simulation study demonstrated similar error propagation between DBFM and DARG. The DBFM method enables accurate assessment of CBF and CMRO(2) without additional CBV scan within significantly shortened examination period, in clinical settings.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 12 December 2012; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2012.188.

Concepts: Metabolism, Medical imaging, Positron emission tomography, Positron, Positron emission, Functional magnetic resonance imaging, Carbon-11, Fluorine-18


Converging evidence suggests that Alzheimer disease (AD) involves insulin signaling impairment. Patients with AD and individuals at risk for AD show reduced glucose metabolism, as indexed by fludeoxyglucose F 18-labeled positron emission tomography (FDG-PET).

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Insulin, Positron emission tomography, Neuroimaging, Positron, Positron emission, Carbon-11, Fluorine-18


The unnatural isotope fluorine-18 ((18)F) is used as a positron emitter in molecular imaging. Currently, many potentially useful (18)F-labeled probe molecules are inaccessible for imaging because no fluorination chemistry is available to make them. The 110-minute half-life of (18)F requires rapid syntheses for which [(18)F]fluoride is the preferred source of fluorine because of its practical access and suitable isotope enrichment. However, conventional [(18)F]fluoride chemistry has been limited to nucleophilic fluorination reactions. We report the development of a palladium-based electrophilic fluorination reagent derived from fluoride and its application to the synthesis of aromatic (18)F-labeled molecules via late-stage fluorination. Late-stage fluorination enables the synthesis of conventionally unavailable positron emission tomography (PET) tracers for anticipated applications in pharmaceutical development as well as preclinical and clinical PET imaging.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Molecule, Positron emission tomography, Positron, Atom, Positron emission, Carbon-11, Fluorine-18


Aggregates of hyperphosphorylated tau (PHF-tau), such as neurofibrillary tangles, are linked to the degree of cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease. We have developed a novel PHF-tau targeting positron emission tomography imaging agent, [F-18]-T807, which may be useful for imaging Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies. Here, we describe the first human brain images with [F-18]-T807.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Positron emission tomography, Neuroimaging, Positron, Single photon emission computed tomography, Neurofibrillary tangle, Carbon-11, Fluorine-18


The increasing availability of the long half-life positron emitter Zr-89 (half life 78.4 h) suggests that it is a strong candidate for cell labelling and hence cell tracking using positron emission tomography. The aim was to produce a range of neutral ZrL4 lipophilic complexes for cell labelling which could be prepared under radiopharmaceutical conditions. This was achieved when the ligand was oxine, tropolone or ethyl maltol. The complexes can be prepared in high yield from zirconium(iv) precursors in hydrochloric or oxalic acid solution. The oxinate and tropolonate complexes were the most amenable to chromatographic characterisation, and HPLC and ITLC protocols have been established to monitor their radiochemical purity. The radiochemical synthesis and quality control of (89)Zr(oxinate)4 is reported as well as preliminary cell labelling data for the oxinate, tropolonate and ethyl maltolate complexes which indicates that (89)Zr(oxinate)4 is the most promising candidate for further evaluation.

Concepts: Acid, Positron emission tomography, Positron, Radioactive decay, Positron emission, Oxalic acid, Carbon-11, Fluorine-18


Widely used (18)F 2'-deoxy-2'-fluoro-d-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) can be problematic with false positives in cancer imaging. This study aims to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of a candidate PET tracer, (18)F 2',3'-dideoxy-3'-fluoro-2-thiothymidine (FLT), in diagnosing pulmonary lesions compared with FDG.

Concepts: Diagnosis, Medical imaging, Positron emission tomography, Neuroimaging, Positron, Positron emission, Carbon-11, Fluorine-18


In clinical applications of Positron Emission Tomography (PET)-based treatment verification in ion beam therapy (PT-PET), detection and interpretation of inconsistencies between Measured PET and Expected PET are mostly limited by Measured PET noise, due to low count statistics, and by Expected PET bias, especially due to inaccurate washout modelling in off-line implementations. In this work, a recently proposed 4D Maximum Likelihood (ML) reconstruction algorithm which considers Measured PET and Expected PET as two different motion phases of a 4D dataset is assessed on clinical 4D PET-CT datasets acquired after carbon ion therapy.

Concepts: Medical imaging, Positron emission tomography, Positron, Tomography, Positron emission, Reconstruction algorithm, Carbon-11, Fluorine-18


The western corn rootworm (WCR) is a major pest of maize that is well adapted to most crop management strategies. Breeding for tolerance is a promising alternative to combat WCR, but is currently constrained by a lack of physiological understanding and phenotyping tools. We developed dynamic precision phenotyping approaches using carbon-11 with positron emission tomography, root autoradiography and radiometabolite flux analysis to understand maize tolerance to WCR. Our results reveal that WCR attack induces specific patterns of lateral root growth which are associated with a shift in auxin biosynthesis from indole-3-pyruvic acid to indole-3-acetonitrile. WCR attack also increases transport of newly synthesized amino acids to the roots, including the accumulation of glutamine. Finally, the regrowth zones of WCR attacked roots show an increase in glutamine turnover which strongly correlates with the induction of indole-3-acetonitrile-dependent auxin biosynthesis. In summary, our findings identify local changes in the auxin flux network as a promising marker for induced WCR tolerance.

Concepts: Amino acid, Acid, Positron emission tomography, Positron, Root, Positron emission, Western corn rootworm, Carbon-11


Many pathophysiological processes are associated with proliferation, migration or death of distinct cell populations. Monitoring specific cell types and their progeny in a non-invasive, longitudinal and quantitative manner is still challenging. Here we show a novel cell-tracking system that combines Cre/lox-assisted cell fate mapping with a thymidine kinase (sr39tk) reporter gene for cell detection by positron emission tomography (PET). We generate Rosa26-mT/sr39tk PET reporter mice and induce sr39tk expression in platelets, T lymphocytes or cardiomyocytes. As proof of concept, we demonstrate that our mouse model permits longitudinal PET imaging and quantification of T-cell homing during inflammation and cardiomyocyte viability after myocardial infarction. Moreover, Rosa26-mT/sr39tk mice are useful for whole-body characterization of transgenic Cre mice and to detect previously unknown Cre activity. We anticipate that the Cre-switchable PET reporter mice will be broadly applicable for non-invasive long-term tracking of selected cell populations in vivo.Non-invasive cell tracking is a powerful method to visualize cells in vivo under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Here Thunemann et al. generate a mouse model for in vivo tracking and quantification of specific cell types by combining a PET reporter gene with Cre-dependent activation that can be exploited for any cell population for which a Cre mouse line is available.

Concepts: Gene, Myocardial infarction, Positron emission tomography, Positron, Cardiac muscle, Positron emission, Carbon-11, Fluorine-18