SPECT/CT imaging reveals CNS-wide modulation of glymphatic cerebrospinal fluid flow by systemic hypertonic saline

iScience. 2022 Sep 29;25(10):105250. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.105250. eCollection 2022 Oct 21.


Intrathecal administration enables central nervous system delivery of drugs that do not bypass the blood-brain barrier. Systemic administration of hypertonic saline (HTS) enhances delivery of intrathecal therapeutics into the neuropil, but its effect on solute clearance from the brain remains unknown. Here, we developed a dynamic in vivo single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) imaging platform to study the effects of HTS on whole-body distribution of the radiolabeled tracer 99mTc-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) administered through intracisternal, intrastriatal, or intravenous route in anesthetized rats. Co-administration of systemic HTS increased intracranial exposure to intracisternal 99mTc-DTPA by ∼80% during imaging. In contrast, HTS had minimal effects on brain clearance of intrastriatal 99mTc-DTPA. In sum, SPECT/CT imaging presents a valuable approach to study glymphatic drug delivery. Using this methodology, we show that systemic HTS increases intracranial availability of cerebrospinal fluid-administered tracer, but has marginal effects on brain clearance, thus substantiating a simple, yet effective strategy for enhancing intrathecal drug delivery to the brain.

Keywords: Drug delivery system; Neuroscience; Small animal imaging.

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.21150415