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Neuroimage. 2005 Jul 15;26(4):1201-10.

Quantification of brain phosphodiesterase 4 in rat with (R)-[11C]Rolipram-PET.

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Molecular Imaging Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Building 1, Room B3-10, 1 Center Drive, MSC-0135, Bethesda, MD 20892-0135, USA.



Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) catabolizes the second messenger 3', 5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate and may play a critical role in brain diseases. Our aim was to quantify PDE4 in rats with positron emission tomography (PET).


High (n = 6) and low specific activity (SA) (n = 2) higher affinity ((R)-[(11)C]rolipram) and high SA lower affinity ((S)-[(11)C]rolipram) (n = 2) enantiomers were intravenously administered to Sprague-Dawley rats. Brain data were acquired using the ATLAS PET scanner and reconstructed using the 3D-ordered subset expectation maximization algorithm. Arterial samples were taken to measure unmetabolized [(11)C]rolipram. Total distribution volumes (V(T)') were calculated using a 1-tissue compartment (1C) and an unconstrained 2-tissue compartment (2C) model.


High SA R experiments showed later and greater brain uptake, and slower washout than low SA R and S experiments. In all regions and in all experiments, the 2C model gave significantly better fitting than the 1C model. The poor fitting by the latter caused underestimation of V(T)' by 19-31%. The 2C model identified V(T)' reasonably well with coefficients of variation less than 10%. V(T)' values by this model were 16.4-29.2 mL/cm(3) in high SA R, 2.9-3.5 in low SA R, and 3.1-3.7 in S experiments.


Specific binding of (R)-[(11)C]rolipram was accurately measured in living rats. In high SA R experiments, approximately 86% of V(T)' was specific binding. Distribution and changes of PDE4 in animal models can now be studied by measuring V(T)' of high SA (R)-[(11)C]rolipram.

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