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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1999 May;19(5):533-46.

Quantitation of extrastriatal D2 receptors using a very high-affinity ligand (FLB 457) and the multi-injection approach.

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  • 1Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, CEA/DSV, Orsay, France.


The multi-injection approach has been used to study in baboon the in vivo interactions between the D2 receptor sites and FLB 457, a ligand with a very high affinity for these receptors. The model structure was composed of four compartments (plasma, free ligand, and specifically and unspecifically bound ligands) and seven parameters (including the D2 receptor site density). The arterial plasma concentration, after correction for metabolites, was used as the input function. The experimental protocol, which consisted of three injections of labeled and/or unlabeled ligand, allowed the evaluation of all model parameters from a single positron emission tomography experiment. In particular, the concentration of receptor sites available for binding (B'max) and the apparent in vivo FLB 457 affinity were estimated in seven brain regions, including the cerebellum and several cortex regions, in which these parameters are estimated in vivo for the first time (B'max is estimated to be 4.0+/-1.3 pmol/mL in the thalamus and from 0.32 to 1.90 pmol/mL in the cortex). A low receptor density was found in the cerebellum (B'max = 0.39+/-0.17 pmol/mL), whereas the cerebellum is usually used as a reference region assumed to be devoid of D2 receptor sites. In spite of this very small concentration (1% of the striatal concentration), and because of the high affinity of the ligand, we demonstrated that after a tracer injection, most of the PET-measured radioactivity in the cerebellum results from the labeled ligand bound to receptor sites. The estimation of all the model parameters allowed simulations that led to a precise knowledge of the FLB 457 kinetics in all brain regions and gave the possibility of testing the equilibrium hypotheses and estimating the biases introduced by the usual simplified approaches.

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