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
Small animal PET imaging is an important tool for preclinical drug research. It can provide valuable information of disease progression and treatment effects longitudinally.
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.
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.
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
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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Nuclear Imaging
Can imaging be performed along with other tests in the same animal?
Yes, the advantage of nuclear imaging is that it can be combined with other studies such as behavioral tests, histology and anatomical MRI.
What is small animal imaging SPECT imaging used for?
SPECT imaging is a valuable translational tool to assess the impact of therapeutic compounds on inflammation, cerebral blood flow and other neurophysiology processes in the brain.
Why is ARG important?
Traditionally, autoradiography has been done by exposing samples on films or phosphoscreens – a process which takes days or months, depending on the radioisotope being employed. Now we can use real-time imaging of radioisotopes, and quantitative data can be obtained within hours of samples being scanned. The combination of these assays provides a powerful tool to comprehensively measure responses in disease models to novel molecules quickly and cost-efficiently.
What is a typical sample size for efficacy studies using SPECT and PET imaging?
Reference efficacy studies can be performed with a group of 5 animals. For a novel compound study using PET imaging, the recommended sample size is at least 10 animals for statistically significant data.
Has Charles River used imaging to quantify amyloid plaques in models of Alzheimer’s disease?
Yes. We have ongoing studies to quantify amyloid plaques in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.