PET reveals inflammatory cycle in the brain - Medical News Today

Molecular imaging tracks an immune response tied to neurodegenerative disease

Neuroinflammation caused by a reactive immune system could be tripping off the neurodegeneration seen in certain dementias, multiple sclerosis,and other deadly diseases of the nervous system. A novel molecular imaging technique could be the key to understanding how best to treat
these and other devastating diseases, according to a recent study
presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine
and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).
At the heart of this maladaptive immune response are microglia, immune
cells in the central nervous system that can be activated to trigger
neuroinflammation. For this study, researchers used positron emission
tomography (PET) to measure activation of microglia by employing a
molecule from E. coli bacteria called lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or endotoxin. LPS stimulates
the immune system and is accompanied by a radiotracer called carbon-11
PBR28 (C-11 PBR28). This form of molecular imaging allows the minimally
invasive visualization of neuroinflammation. C-11 PBR28, is injected and
binds to translocator proteins expressed on activated microglia. A PET
scanner can then detect the radioactive particles emitted from inside
the brain, representing areas of increased microglial activation before
and after immune stimulation with LPS.
Results of the study showed that peripherally administered LPS led to a substantial
spike in the systemic inflammatory response and levels of reported
sickness, and activated microglia in the central nervous system. 

No comments: