Neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptors have been implicated in depression, anxiety, and pain perception. Recently, it was shown that, in the human brain, a specific NK1 receptor-related signal was obtained with the novel radioligand, [¹¹C]R116301, using positron emission tomography. The purpose of this study was to evaluate various methods for quantifying specific [¹¹C]R116301 binding.
Two dynamic 90-min [¹¹C]R116301 scans, separated by 5 h, were performed in 11 healthy volunteers. In three patients, the second scan was performed after an oral blocking dose of 125 mg of aprepitant, whereas in the other eight, no intervention was performed (test-retest). Whole striatum was used as the tissue of interest, as it has the highest density of NK1 receptors. Cerebellum was used as the reference tissue.
Reference tissue models were stable with the simplified reference tissue model (SRTM) performing best. Average (± standard deviation) SRTM-derived mean nondisplaceable binding potential (BP(ND)) of all (first) baseline scans was 0.64±0.31 (n=11), which reduced to -0.01±0.03 (n=3) after aprepitant administration. Test-retest results showed low variability (14.0±10.7%) and excellent reliability, as indicated by the intraclass correlation coefficient (0.93). The ratio of standardized uptake values of striatum and cerebellum minus 1, an approximation of BP(ND), showed very low variability (6.2±3.1%) with excellent reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient=0.98), and correlated well with SRTM-derived BP(ND) (R²=0.96).
SRTM is the model of choice for quantifying [¹¹C]R116301 binding. Semiquantitative tissue ratios hold promise for routine clinical applications.
2011. Vol. 32, no 10, 896-902 p.