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J Neurosci. 2003 Sep 3;23(22):8029-33.

Molecular-imaging probe 2-(1-[6-[(2-fluoroethyl)(methyl) amino]-2-naphthyl]ethylidene) malononitrile labels prion plaques in vitro.

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Laboratory for Neuronal Plasticity and Regeneration, Institute of Pathophysiology, University of Ljubljana, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


The study aimed to evaluate the fluorescent molecular-imaging probe 2-(1-[6-[(2-fluoroethyl)(methyl)amino]-2-naphthyl]ethylidene)malononitrile (FDDNP) for its ability to selectively and reproducibly label prion plaques in fixed, paraffin-embedded cerebellar sections from patients of confirmed Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD) with kuru plaques, and variant CJD (vCJD). FDDNP is a highly hydrophobic, viscosity-sensitive, solvent-sensitive, fluorescent substance, whose radiofluorinated analog [18F]FDDNP has recently been successfully used to label senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the living brain of Alzheimer's disease patients with positron emission tomography. Our results show that FDDNP reliably identifies all prion plaques, including small cluster-plaques in vCJD. This finding may open new in vivo diagnostic possibilities for vCJD.

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