PET visualization of microglia in multiple sclerosis patients using [C-11]PK11195

JC Debruyne*, J Versijpt, KJ Van Laere, F De Vos, J Keppens, K Strijckmans, E Achten, G Slegers, RA Dierckx, J Korf, JL De Reuck

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    194 Citations (Scopus)


    Activated microglia are involved in the immune response of multiple sclerosis (MS). The peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR) is expressed on microglia and up-regulated after neuronal injury. [(11) C]PK11195 is a positron emission tomography (PET) radioligand for the PBR. The objective of the present study was to investigate [(11) C]PK11195 imaging in MS patients and its additional value over magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) concerning the immuno-pathophysiological process. Seven healthy and 22 MS subjects were included. Semiquantitative [(11) C]PK11195 uptake values were assessed with normalization on cortical grey matter. Uptake in Gadolinium-lesions was significantly increased compared with normal white matter. Uptake in T2-lesions was generally decreased, suggesting a PBR down-regulation. However, uptake values increased whenever a clinical or MR-relapse was present, suggestive for a dynamic process with a transient PBR up-regulation. During disease progression, an increase of normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) uptake was found, propagating NAWM as the possible real burden of disease. In conclusion, [(11) C]PK11195 and PET are able to demonstrate inflammatory processes with microglial involvement in MS.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)257-264
    Number of pages8
    JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May-2003


    • inflammation
    • microglia
    • multiple sclerosis
    • peripheral benzodiazepine receptor
    • PK11195
    • positron emission tomography
    • PK11195 BINDING
    • LIGAND
    • SITES

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