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J Nucl Med. 1999 Apr;40(4):660-6.

Simultaneous SPECT studies of pre- and postsynaptic dopamine binding sites in baboons.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


The central nervous system dopamine transporters (DATs) and dopamine D2/D3 receptors are implicated in a variety of neurological disorders. Both sites are also targets for drug treatment. With the successful development of [99mTc]TRODAT-1, single-isotope imaging studies using this ligand for DAT imaging can be complemented by additional use of 123I-labeled D2/D3 receptor ligand co-injected to assess both pre- and postsynaptic sites of the dopaminergic system simultaneously.


Twelve SPECT scans of the brain were obtained in two baboons after intravenous administration of 740 MBq (20 mCi) [99mTc]-TRODAT-1 (technetium, [2-[[2-[[[3-(4-chlorophenyl)-8-methyl-8-azabicyclo[3,2,1]oct-2-yl]methyl ](2-mercaptoethyl) amino]ethyl]-amino]ethanethiolato (3-)]- oxo-[1R-(exo-exo)]) and 185 MBq (5 mCi) [123I]iodobenzamide or [123I]iodobenzofuran. SPECT data were acquired by a triple-head gamma camera equipped with ultra-high-resolution fanbeam collimators (scan duration = 210 min). Two sets of SPECT data were obtained using energy windows of 15% centered on 140 keV for 99mTc and 10% asymmetric with a lower bound at 159 keV for 123I. After coregistration with MRI, region-of-interest analysis was performed using predefined templates from coregistered MRI. In blocking studies, baboons were pretreated with N-methyl-2beta-carbomethoxy-3beta-(4-fluorophenyl)tropane (CFT, 14 mg) or raclopride (14 mg) to block DAT or D2/D3 binding site, respectively.


Image quality of dual-isotope studies was similar to that obtained from single-isotope studies. When one site was blocked with CFT or raclopride, the binding of the respective ligand to the other site was not affected.


This is the first example that clearly demonstrates the feasibility of simultaneous imaging of both pre- and postsynaptic sites of the dopaminergic system in baboons with dual-isotope SPECT studies. With or without corrections for cross-contamination of 123I into the 99mTc window, striatum-to-cerebellum ratios (target-to-nontarget) of dual-isotope experiments did not differ significantly from single-isotope experiments. This method may be a valuable and cost-effective tool for gaining comprehensive information about the dopaminergic system in one SPECT imaging session.

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