PET Imaging for The Early Evaluation of Ocular Inflammation in Diabetic Rats by Using [18F]-DPA-714

Exp Eye Res. 2024 Jun 28:109986. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2024.109986. Online ahead of print.


Ocular complications of diabetes mellitus (DM) are the leading cause of vision loss. Ocular inflammation often occurs in the early stage of DM; however, there are no proven quantitative methods to evaluate the inflammatory status of eyes in DM. The 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) is an evolutionarily conserved cholesterol binding protein localized in the outer mitochondrial membrane. It is a biomarker of activated microglia/macrophages; however, its role in ocular inflammation is unclear. In this study, fluorine-18-DPA-714 ([18F]-DPA-714) was evaluated as a specific TSPO probe by cell uptake, cell binding assays and micro positron emission tomography (microPET) imaging in both in vitro and in vivo models. Primary microglia/macrophages (PMs) extracted from the cornea, retina, choroid or sclera of neonatal rats with or without high glucose (50 mM) treatment were used as the in vitro model. Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats that received an intraperitoneal administration of streptozotocin (STZ, 60 mg/kg once) were used as the in vivo model. Increased cell uptake and high binding affinity of [18F]-DPA-714 were observed in primary PMs under hyperglycemic stress. These findings were consistent with cellular morphological changes, cell activation, and TSPO up-regulation. [18F]-DPA-714 PET imaging and biodistribution in the eyes of DM rats revealed that inflammation initiates in microglia/macrophages in the early stages (3 weeks and 6 weeks), corresponding with up-regulated TSPO levels. Thus, [18F]-DPA-714 microPET imaging may be an effective approach for the early evaluation of ocular inflammation in DM.

PMID:38945519 | DOI:10.1016/j.exer.2024.109986