Introduction: The translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO), although minimally expressed in healthy brain, is up-regulated in pathological conditions, coinciding with microglial activation. It is thereby a suitable in vivo biomarker of neuroinflammation for detection, evaluation and therapeutic monitoring of brain diseases. We aimed to estimate the radiation dosimetry of the positron emission tomography (PET) TSPO radioligand [(18)F]DPA-714, and we evaluated in healthy volunteers its whole-body uptake and cerebral kinetics.
Methods: Biodistribution data from mice were used for the prediction of radiation dosimetry. In human studies, a 90-min dynamic PET scan was performed in seven healthy volunteers after injection of [(18)F]DPA-714 (245±45 MBq). Arterial and venous samples were collected from two subjects, and two additional subjects were submitted to whole-body acquisition. Regions of interest were defined over cerebral structures to obtain mean time-activity curves and to estimate the distribution volume ratios by Logan graphical analysis, and over peripheral organs to obtain standard uptake values.
Results: The effective dose estimated from biodistribution in mice was 17.2 μSv/MBq. Modeling of regional brain and plasma data showed good in vivo stability of [(18)F]DPA-714 in humans, with only 20% of blood metabolites 20 min postinjection (p.i.). Maximum cerebral uptake was observed 5 min p.i., followed by two decreasing phases: a rapid washout (5-30 min) followed by a slower phase for the remainder of PET acquisition. Whole-body images demonstrate high activity in the gallbladder, heart, spleen and kidneys.
Conclusions: This initial study in humans shows that [(18)F]DPA-714 is a promising PET radioligand with excellent in vivo stability and biodistribution, and acceptable effective dose estimation. Therefore, [(18)F]DPA-714 could provide a sensitive measure of neuroinflammatory changes in subsequent clinical investigations.
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