Imaging of Cyclosporine Inhibition of P-Glycoprotein Activity Using C-11-Verapamil in the Brain: Studies of Healthy Humans

Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-6004, USA.
Journal of Nuclear Medicine (Impact Factor: 6.16). 09/2009; 50(8):1267-75. DOI: 10.2967/jnumed.108.059162
Source: PubMed


The multiple-drug resistance (MDR) transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is highly expressed at the human blood-brain barrier (BBB). P-gp actively effluxes a wide variety of drugs from the central nervous system, including anticancer drugs. We have previously demonstrated P-gp activity at the human BBB using PET of (11)C-verapamil distribution into the brain in the absence and presence of the P-gp inhibitor cyclosporine-A (CsA). Here we extend the initial noncompartmental analysis of these data and apply compartmental modeling to these human verapamil imaging studies.
Healthy volunteers were injected with (15)O-water to assess blood flow, followed by (11)C-verapamil to assess BBB P-gp activity. Arterial blood samples and PET images were obtained at frequent intervals for 5 and 45 min, respectively, after injection. After a 60-min infusion of CsA (intravenously, 2.5 mg/kg/h) to inhibit P-gp, a second set of water and verapamil PET studies was conducted, followed by (11)C-CO imaging to measure regional blood volume. Blood flow was estimated using dynamic (15)O-water data and a flow-dispersion model. Dynamic (11)C-verapamil data were assessed by a 2-tissue-compartment (2C) model of delivery and retention and a 1-tissue-compartment model using the first 10 min of data (1C(10)).
The 2C model was able to fit the full dataset both before and during P-pg inhibition. CsA modulation of P-gp increased blood-brain transfer (K(1)) of verapamil into the brain by 73% (range, 30%-118%; n = 12). This increase was significantly greater than changes in blood flow (13%; range, 12%-49%; n = 12, P < 0.001). Estimates of K(1) from the 1C(10) model correlated to estimates from the 2C model (r = 0.99, n = 12), indicating that a short study could effectively estimate P-gp activity.
(11)C-verapamil and compartmental analysis can estimate P-gp activity at the BBB by imaging before and during P-gp inhibition by CsA, indicated by a change in verapamil transport (K(1)). Inhibition of P-gp unmasks verapamil trapping in brain tissue that requires a 2C model for long imaging times; however, transport can be effectively measured using a short scan time with a 1C(10) model, avoiding complications with labeled metabolites and tracer retention.

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    • "The regions included: choroid, pituitary and salivary gland, ventricle, selected whole brain regions, white and gray matter. In Muzi et al. (2009) and Graham et al. (2002), these ROI data were analyzed using the conventional compartmental models. 6 Here we compare compartmental analysis of these H2O and FDG ROI data with analysis obtained using the adaptive mixture model recovered using the segmentation and recursive refinement algorithm of Section 3.1 and Section 3.2 of this paper. "
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