The impact of dopamine D2-like agonist/antagonist on [18F]VAT PET measurement of VAChT in the brain of nonhuman primates

Hui Liu, Zonghua Luo, Jiwei Gu, Yi Su, Hubert Flores, Stanley M. Parsons, Yun Zhou, Joel S. Perlmutter, Zhude Tu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) is a promising target for a PET measure of cholinergic deficits which contribute to cognitive impairments. Dopamine D2-like agonists and antagonists are frequently used in the elderly and could alter cholinergic function and VAChT level. Therefore, pretreatment with dopamine D2-like drugs may interfere with PET measures using [18F]VAT, a specific VAChT radioligand. Herein, we investigated the impact of dopaminergic D2-like antagonist/agonist on VAChT level in the brain of macaques using [18F]VAT PET. PET imaging studies were carried out on macaques at baseline or pretreatment conditions. For pretreatment, animals were injected using a VAChT inhibitor (-)-vesamicol, a D2-like antagonist (-)-eticlopride, and a D2-like agonist (-)-quinpirole, separately. (-)-Vesamicol was injected at escalating doses of 0.025, 0.05, 0.125, 0.25 and 0.35 mg/kg; (-)-eticlopride was injected at escalating doses of 0.01, 0.10 and 0.30 mg/kg; (-)-quinpirole was injected at escalating doses of 0.20, 0.30, and 0.50 mg/kg. PET data showed [18F]VAT uptake declined in a dose-dependent manner by (-)-vesamicol pretreatment, demonstrating [18F]VAT uptake is sensitive to reflect the availability of VAChT binding sites. Furthermore, (-)-eticlopride increased [18F]VAT striatal uptake in a dose-dependent manner, while (-)-quinpirole decreased its uptake, suggesting striatal VAChT levels can be regulated by D2-like drug administration. Our findings confirmed [18F]VAT offers a reliable tool to in vivo assess the availability of VAChT binding sites. More importantly, PET with [18F]VAT successfully quantified the impact of dopaminergic D2-like drugs on striatal VAChT level, suggesting [18F]VAT has great potential for investigating the interaction between dopaminergic and cholinergic systems in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105152
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Volume143
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2020

Keywords

  • Dopaminergic D-like drugs
  • Nonhuman primates
  • PET
  • Vesicular acetylcholine transporter
  • [F]VAT

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