Detection of IL12/23p40 via PET Visualizes Inflammatory Bowel Disease

J Nucl Med. 2023 Nov;64(11):1806-1814. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.123.265649. Epub 2023 Jul 20.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes both Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis, is a relapsing inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Long-term chronic inflammatory conditions elevate the patient's risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Currently, diagnosis requires endoscopy with biopsy. This procedure is invasive and requires a bowel-preparatory regimen, adding to patient burden. Interleukin 12 (IL12) and interleukin 23 (IL23) play key roles in inflammation, especially in the pathogenesis of IBD, and are established therapeutic targets. We propose that imaging of IL12/23 and its p40 subunit in IBD via immuno-PET potentially provides a new noninvasive diagnostic approach. Methods: Our aim was to investigate the potential of immuno-PET to image inflammation in a chemically induced mouse model of colitis using dextran sodium sulfate by targeting IL12/23p40 with a 89Zr-radiolabeled anti-IL12/23p40 antibody. Results: High uptake of the IL12/23p40 immuno-PET agent was exhibited by dextran sodium sulfate-administered mice, and this uptake correlated with increased IL12/23p40 present in the sera. Competitive binding studies confirmed the specificity of the radiotracer for IL12/23p40 in the gastrointestinal tract. Conclusion: These promising results demonstrate the utility of this radiotracer as an imaging biomarker of IBD. Moreover, IL12/23p40 immuno-PET can potentially guide treatment decisions for IBD management.

Keywords: IL12/23p40; colitis; immuno-PET; inflammatory bowel disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colitis*
  • Dextran Sulfate / adverse effects
  • Dextrans
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / diagnostic imaging
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Interleukin-12 / adverse effects
  • Mice
  • Positron-Emission Tomography


  • Interleukin-12
  • sodium sulfate
  • Dextrans
  • Dextran Sulfate