Neuroinflammation plays key roles in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Myeloperoxidase (MPO), a key inflammatory enzyme, is associated with beta-amyloid (Aβ) in both animal models and in AD patients. In this study, we developed a specific PET (18F-bis-5-hydroxytryptamide, 18F- BHT) to image MPO activity and report on neuroinflammation in AD. We found that 18F-BHT is able to cross the intact blood-brain barrier, and there was ~70% increased 18F-BHT uptake (p=0.029) in the brains of AD mice compared to those of age-matched wild-type littermates, demonstrating increased MPO activity and inflammation in the AD mouse brains. Therefore, once translated, 18F-BHT can be a useful non-invasive tool to image and track MPO activity and neuroinflammation in AD patients.
This ASNR Research Scientist Award made this study possible and based on the result obtained from this study I submitted my NIH K grant this March, which is critical for my transition to become an independent investigator.