Objective: To examine region- and substrate-specific autoradiographic and in vitro binding patterns of positron emission tomography tracer [F-18]-AV-1451 (previously known as T807), tailored to allow in vivo detection of paired helical filament-tau-containing lesions, and to determine whether there is off-target binding to other amyloid/non-amyloid proteins.
Methods: We applied [F-18]-AV-1451 phosphor screen autoradiography, [F-18]-AV-1451 nuclear emulsion autoradiography, and [H-3]-AV-1451 in vitro binding assays to the study of postmortem samples from patients with a definite pathological diagnosis of Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration-tau, frontotemporal lobar degeneration-transactive response DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43), progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy, cerebral amyloid angiopathy and elderly controls free of pathology.
Results: Our data suggest that [F-18]-AV-1451 strongly binds to tau lesions primarily made of paired helical filaments in Alzheimer brains (eg, intraneuronal and extraneuronal tangles and dystrophic neurites), but does not seem to bind to a significant extent to neuronal and glial inclusions mainly composed of straight tau filaments in non-Alzheimer tauopathy brains or to lesions containing β-amyloid, α-synuclein, or TDP-43. [F-18]-AV-1451 off-target binding to neuromelanin- and melanin-containing cells and, to a lesser extent, to brain hemorrhagic lesions was identified.
Interpretation: Our data suggest that [F-18]-AV-1451 holds promise as a surrogate marker for the detection of brain tau pathology in the form of tangles and paired helical filament-tau-containing neurites in Alzheimer brains but also point to its relatively lower affinity for lesions primarily made of straight tau filaments in non-Alzheimer tauopathy cases and to the existence of some [F-18]-AV-1451 off-target binding. These findings provide important insights for interpreting in vivo patterns of [F-18]-AV-1451 retention.
© 2015 American Neurological Association.