Imaging of carrageenan-induced local inflammation and adjuvant-induced systemic arthritis with [11C]PBR28 PET

Xia Shao, Xueding Wang, Sean J. English, Timothy Desmond, Phillip S. Sherman, Carole A. Quesada, Morand R. Piert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Introduction: [11C] PBR28 binding to translocator protein (TSPO) was evaluated for imaging of acute and chronic inflammation using two established rat models. Methods: Acute inflammation was induced by local carrageenan injection into the paw of Fisher 344 rats (model A). T-cell mediated adjuvant arthritis was induced by heat-inactivated Mycobacterium butyricum injection in Lewis rats (model B). Micro-PET scan was performed after injection of approximately 35 MBq [11C]PBR28. In model A, volumes of interest (VOIs) were defined in the paw of Fisher 344 rats (n=6) with contralateral sham treatment as control. For model B, VOIs were defined in the tail, sacroiliac joints, hips, knees and thigh muscles of M. butyricum treated animals (n=8) and compared with sham-treated controls (n=4). The peak 11C-PBR28 SUV (SUVpeak) and area under the curve (AUCSUV) of 60-minute time-activity data were calculated. Immunohistochemistry for CD68, a macrophage stain, was performed from paw tissues. In addition, the [11C]PBR28 cell uptake was measured in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated and non-stimulated macrophage cultures. Results: LPS-stimulated macrophages displayed dose-dependent increased [11C]PBR28 uptake, which was blocked by non-labeled PBR28. In both models, radiotracer uptake of treated lesions increased rapidly within minutes and displayed overall accumulative kinetics. The SUVpeak and AUCSUV of carrageenan-treated paws was significantly increased compared to controls. Also, the [11C]PBR28 uptake ratio of carrageenan-treated vs. sham-treated paw correlated significantly with CD68 staining ratios of the same animals. In adjuvant arthritis, significantly increased [11C]PBR28 SUVpeak and AUCSUV values were identified at the tail, knees, and sacroiliac joints, while no significant differences were identified in the lumbar spine and hips. Conclusions: Based on our initial data, [11C]PBR28 PET appears to have potential for imaging of various inflammatory processes involving macrophage activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)906-911
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Carrageenan-induced inflammation macrophages, RAW 264.7 cells
  • Systemic adjuvant arthritis
  • TSPO
  • [C]PBR28


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