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[18F]Nifene PET/CT Imaging in Mice: Improved Methods and Preliminary Studies of α4β2* Nicotinic Acetylcholinergic Receptors in Transgenic A53T Mouse Model of α-Synucleinopathy and Post-Mortem Human Parkinson's Disease.


We report [18F]nifene binding to α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholinergic receptors (nAChRs) in Parkinson's disease (PD). The study used transgenic Hualpha-Syn(A53T) PD mouse model of α-synucleinopathy for PET/CT studies in vivo and autoradiography in vitro. Additionally, postmortem human PD brain sections comprising of anterior cingulate were used in vitro to assess translation to human studies. Because the small size of mice brain poses challenges for PET imaging, improved methods for radiosynthesis of [18F]nifene and simplified PET/CT procedures in mice were developed by comparing intravenous (IV) and intraperitoneal (IP) administered [18F]nifene. An optimal PET/CT imaging time of 30-60 min post injection of [18F]nifene was established to provide thalamus to cerebellum ratio of 2.5 (with IV) and 2 (with IP). Transgenic Hualpha-Syn(A53T) mice brain slices exhibited 20-35% decrease while in vivo a 20-30% decrease of [18F]nifene was observed. Lewy bodies and α-synuclein aggregates were confirmed in human PD brain sections which lowered the [18F]nifene binding by more than 50% in anterior cingulate. Thus [18F]nifene offers a valuable tool for PET imaging studies of PD.

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