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A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2014 December;58(4):376-86

Copyright © 2014 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Radioligand imaging of α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease

Meyer P. M. 1, Tiepolt S. 1, Barthel H. 1, Hesse S. 1, 2, Sabri O. 1, 2

1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany;
2 Integrated Research and Treatment Centre Adiposity Diseases, Leipzig, Germany


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The α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α4β2*-nAChR) are highly abundant in the human brain. As neuromodulators they play an important role in cognitive functions such as memory, learning and attention as well as mood and motor function. Post mortem studies suggest that abnormalities of α4β2*-nAChRs are closely linked to histopathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), such as amyloid aggregates/oligomers and tangle pathology and of Parkinson’s disease (PD) such as Lewy body pathology and the nigrostriatal dopaminergic deficit. In this review we summarize and discuss nicotinic receptor imaging findings of 2-[18F]FA-85380 PET, [11C]nicotine PET and 5-[123I]IA-85380 SPECT studies investigating α4β2*-nAChR binding in vivo and their relationship to mental dysfunction in the brain of patients with AD and patients out of the spectrum of Lewy body disorders such as PD and Lewy body dementia (DLB). Furthermore, recent developments of novel α4β2*-nAChR-specific PET radioligands, such as (-)[18F]Flubatine or [18F]AZAN are summarized. We conclude that α4β2*-nAChR-specific PET might become a biomarker for early diagnostics and drug developments in patients with AD, DLB and PD, even at early or prodromal stages.

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Osama.Sabri@medizin.uni-leipzig.de