MicroPET imaging and transgenic models: a blueprint for Alzheimer's disease clinical research

Trends Neurosci. 2014 Nov;37(11):629-41. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2014.07.002. Epub 2014 Aug 20.


Over the past decades, developments in neuroimaging have significantly contributed to the understanding of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathophysiology. Specifically, positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agents targeting amyloid deposition have provided unprecedented opportunities for refining in vivo diagnosis, monitoring disease propagation, and advancing AD clinical trials. Furthermore, the use of a miniaturized version of PET (microPET) in transgenic (Tg) animals has been a successful strategy for accelerating the development of novel radiopharmaceuticals. However, advanced applications of microPET focusing on the longitudinal propagation of AD pathophysiology or therapeutic strategies remain in their infancy. This review highlights what we have learned from microPET imaging in Tg models displaying amyloid and tau pathology, and anticipates cutting-edge applications with high translational value to clinical research.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; amyloid; microPET; neurodegeneration; positron emission tomography; radiopharmaceuticals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Neuroimaging*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography* / methods


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides