Hybrid PET/MRI enables high-spatial resolution, quantitative imaging of amyloid plaques in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model

Georgia R. Frost, Valerie Longo, Thomas Li, Lauren A. Jonas, Martin Judenhofer, Simon Cherry, Jason Koutcher, Carl Lekaye, Pat Zanzonico, Yue Ming Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The emergence of PET probes for amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, hallmarks of Alzheimer disease (AD), enables monitoring of pathology in AD mouse models. However, small-animal PET imaging is limited by coarse spatial resolution. We have installed a custom-fabricated PET insert into our small-animal MRI instrument and used PET/MRI hybrid imaging to define regions of amyloid vulnerability in 5xFAD mice. We compared fluorine-18 [18F]-Florbetapir uptake in the 5xFAD brain by dedicated small-animal PET/MRI and PET/CT to validate the quantitative measurement of PET/MRI. Next, we used PET/MRI to define uptake in six brain regions. As expected, uptake was comparable to wild-type in the cerebellum and elevated in the cortex and hippocampus, regions implicated in AD. Interestingly, uptake was highest in the thalamus, a region often overlooked in AD studies. Development of small-animal PET/MRI enables tracking of brain region-specific pathology in mouse models, which may prove invaluable to understanding AD progression and therapeutic development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10379
JournalScientific reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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    Frost, G. R., Longo, V., Li, T., Jonas, L. A., Judenhofer, M., Cherry, S., Koutcher, J., Lekaye, C., Zanzonico, P., & Li, Y. M. (2020). Hybrid PET/MRI enables high-spatial resolution, quantitative imaging of amyloid plaques in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Scientific reports, 10(1), [10379]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-67284-z