Purpose: Upregulation of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1) expression in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions is associated with neuroinflammatory response. This study investigated the correlation between neuroinflammation and S1PR1 expression in the spinal cord of an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) rat model of MS, using the S1PR1 positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer [11C]TZ3321. Procedures: MicroPET imaging studies of [11C]TZ3321 were performed to measure uptake of [11C]TZ3321 in the spinal cord of EAE rats. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to confirm the overexpression of S1PR1 and other inflammatory biomarkers. Results: MicroPET imaging demonstrated a 20–30 % increase in [11C]TZ3321 uptake in the lumbar spinal cord of EAE rats versus sham controls at 35–60 min post injection. The increased uptake of [11C]TZ3321 was correlated with the overexpression of S1PR1 in the lumbar spinal cord of EAE rats that was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining. Upregulated S1PR1 expression was associated with glial cell activation and immune cell infiltration. Conclusions: MicroPET imaging modality with a specific radioligand [11C]TZ3321 is able to assess the expression of S1PR1 in EAE rat lumbar spinal cord. This may provide a new approach to the assessment of neuroinflammatory response in MS and other inflammatory diseases.
- Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
- Multiple sclerosis
- PET imaging
- Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1