Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility and sensitivity of multimodality PET/CT and MRI imaging for non-invasive characterization of brain microglial/macrophage activation occurring during the acute phase in a mouse model of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS) using [18F]DPA-714, a selective radioligand for the 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO), superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (SPIO), and ex vivo immunohistochemistry. Methods: Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was induced in female SJL/J mice by immunization with PLP139–151. Seven symptomatic EAE mice and five controls underwent both PET/CT and MRI studies between 11 and 14 days post-immunization. SPIO was injected i.v. in the same animals immediately after [18F]DPA-714 and MRI acquisition was performed after 24 h. Regional brain volumes were defined according to a mouse brain atlas on co-registered PET and SPIO-MRI images. [18F]DPA-714 standardized uptake value (SUV) ratios (SUVR), with unaffected neocortex as reference, and SPIO fractional volumes (SPIO-Vol) were generated. Both SUVR and SPIO-Vol values were correlated with the clinical score (CS) and among them. Five EAE and four control mice underwent immunohistochemical analysis with the aim of identifying activated microglia/macrophage and TSPO expressions. Results: SUVR and SPIO-Vol values were significantly increased in EAE compared with controls in the hippocampus (p < 0.01; p < 0.02, respectively), thalamus (p < 0.02; p < 0.05, respectively), and cerebellum and brainstem (p < 0.02), while only SPIO-Vol was significantly increased in the caudate/putamen (p < 0.05). Both SUVR and SPIO-Vol values were positively significantly correlated with CS and among them in the same regions. TSPO/Iba1 and F4/80/Prussian blue staining immunohistochemistry suggests that increased activated microglia/macrophages underlay TSPO expression and SPIO uptake in symptomatic EAE mice. Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that both activated microglia and infiltrated macrophages are present in vulnerable brain regions during the acute phase of PLP-EAE and contribute to disease severity. Both [18F]DPA-714-PET and SPIO-MRI appear suitable modalities for preclinical study of neuroinflammation in MS mice models.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - May 7 2020|
- Multiple sclerosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging