PET Imaging Studies

Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is a valuable tool in neuroscience and oncology research studies to measure brain functionality and metabolism and is increasingly being used as a preclinical endpoint to predict clinical success. PET imaging is also used to monitor metabolic activity in brain tumors and can be performed with CT to get combined data on radioligand accumulation and anatomic localization. Charles River’s expertise with small animal imaging and associated ex vivo techniques, provide a comprehensive state-of-the-art toolkit to evaluate the pathophysiology and drug effects in animal models of neurological disease.

Dynamic PET Imaging

Imaging of reduction of dopamine transporter (DAT) levels in the MPTP mouse model of Parkinson’s disease using the PET ligand 18F-FE-PE21

Small animal PET imaging is an important tool for preclinical drug research. It can provide valuable information of disease progression and treatment effects longitudinally.

PET Imaging Services

SPECT Imaging Studies

Single photon emission computed tomography or SPECT imaging enables real-time in vivo imaging to measure brain perfusion, inflammation, and biodistribution of novel compounds or cells. It is commonly used to study metabolic changes, cerebral blood flow and oxygen levels across models of neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. SPECT using technetium imaging (99mTc -exametazime (99mTc -HMPAO)) is a conventional method to assess cerebral blood flow in vivo and has been shown to correlate strongly with regional brain perfusion. This method is used in clinical nuclear imaging to detect stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases.

SPECT Imaging

Representative images of 123I-B-CIT SPECT dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging. Depending on the PD model, unilateral or bilateral differences in ligand binding to the striatum are seen with a comparison between AAV-alpha-synuclein or wildtype. The bottom row is treated with 6-OHDA (6-hydroxydopamine) which is considered a neurotoxin.

Single Photon emission computed tomography or SPECT imaging enables real-time in vivo imaging to measure brain perfusion, inflammation and biodistribution of novel compounds or cells.

SPECT Imaging Services

Quantitative Real-Time Autoradiography Studies

Autoradiography (ARG) is a well-established method used to assay metabolic changes, receptor activation and GPCR signaling in response to compound stimulation in brain tissues. Noninvasive imaging methods are used extensively to study metabolic changes and alterations in ligand-receptor signaling in the brain as a part of disease progression and in response to therapeutic intervention via small molecules or biologics. Autoradiography combined with behavioral readouts provides a comprehensive evaluation of neurological disease pathophysiology as well as mechanism of action data for therapeutic compounds.

Quantitative Metabolic Changes and G Protein-Coupled Receptor Activation Using Autoradiography

computer graphic image of neural networks with several colors

Autoradiography (ARG) is a powerful technique that can be applied to study metabolic changes, receptor binding and activation of GPCRs by novel compounds in the brain. 

Learn how to apply ARG to your studies


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Nuclear Imaging