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Ballweg, Anna; Klaus, Carolin; Vogler, Letizia; Katzdobler, Sabrina; Wind, Karin; Zatcepin, Artem; Ziegler, Sibylle I.; Secgin, Birkan; Eckenweber, Florian; Bohr, Bernd; Bernhardt, Alexander; Fietzek, Urban; Rauchmann, Boris-Stephan; Stoecklein, Sophia; Quach, Stefanie; Beyer, Leonie; Scheifele, Maximilian; Simmet, Marcel; Joseph, Emanuel; Lindner, Simon; Berg, Isabella; Koglin, Norman; Mueller, Andre; Stephens, Andrew W.; Bartenstein, Peter; Tonn, Joerg C.; Albert, Nathalie L.; Kümpfel, Tania; Kerschensteiner, Martin; Perneczky, Robert; Levin, Johannes; Paeger, Lars; Herms, Jochen; Brendel, Matthias (2023): [18F]F-DED PET imaging of reactive astrogliosis in neurodegenerative diseases: preclinical proof of concept and first-in-human data. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 20 (1). ISSN 1742-2094

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Reactive gliosis is a common pathological hallmark of CNS pathology resulting from neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation. In this study we investigate the capability of a novel monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) PET ligand to monitor reactive astrogliosis in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer`s disease (AD). Furthermore, we performed a pilot study in patients with a range of neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory conditions.

A cross-sectional cohort of 24 transgenic (PS2APP) and 25 wild-type mice (age range: 4.3–21.0 months) underwent 60 min dynamic [18F]fluorodeprenyl-D2 ([18F]F-DED), static 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO, [18F]GE-180) and β-amyloid ([18F]florbetaben) PET imaging. Quantification was performed via image derived input function (IDIF, cardiac input), simplified non-invasive reference tissue modelling (SRTM2, DVR) and late-phase standardized uptake value ratios (SUVr). Immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and MAO-B were performed to validate PET imaging by gold standard assessments. Patients belonging to the Alzheimer’s disease continuum (AD, n = 2), Parkinson’s disease (PD, n = 2), multiple system atrophy (MSA, n = 2), autoimmune encephalitis (n = 1), oligodendroglioma (n = 1) and one healthy control underwent 60 min dynamic [18F]F-DED PET and the data were analyzed using equivalent quantification strategies.

We selected the cerebellum as a pseudo-reference region based on the immunohistochemical comparison of age-matched PS2APP and WT mice. Subsequent PET imaging revealed that PS2APP mice showed elevated hippocampal and thalamic [18F]F-DED DVR when compared to age-matched WT mice at 5 months (thalamus: + 4.3%; p = 0.048), 13 months (hippocampus: + 7.6%, p = 0.022) and 19 months (hippocampus: + 12.3%, p < 0.0001; thalamus: + 15.2%, p < 0.0001). Specific [18F]F-DED DVR increases of PS2APP mice occurred earlier when compared to signal alterations in TSPO and β-amyloid PET and [18F]F-DED DVR correlated with quantitative immunohistochemistry (hippocampus: R = 0.720, p < 0.001; thalamus: R = 0.727, p = 0.002). Preliminary experience in patients showed [18F]F-DED VT and SUVr patterns, matching the expected topology of reactive astrogliosis in neurodegenerative (MSA) and neuroinflammatory conditions, whereas the patient with oligodendroglioma and the healthy control indicated [18F]F-DED binding following the known physiological MAO-B expression in brain.

[18F]F-DED PET imaging is a promising approach to assess reactive astrogliosis in AD mouse models and patients with neurological diseases.

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