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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

In vivo imaging of human cerebral acetylcholinesterase.

We report here the first positron emission tomography (PET) images showing the in vivo regional distribution of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in human brain. The study was carried out in eight healthy human volunteers using as a tracer [11C]-physostigmine ([11C]PHY), an inhibitor of AChE. After intravenous injection of [11C]PHY, radioactivity was rapidly taken up in brain tissue and reached maximal uptake within a few minutes, following a regional pattern mostly related to cerebral perfusion. After the peak, the cerebral radioactivity gradually decreased with a half-life varying from 20 to 35 min, depending on the brain structure. [11C] PHY retention was higher in regions rich in AChE, such as the striatum (half-life, 35 min), than in regions poor in AChE, such as the cerebral cortex (half-life, 20 min). At later times (25-35 min postinjection), the cerebral distribution of [11C]PHY was typical of AChE activity: putamen-caudate > cerebellum > brainstem > thalamus > cerebral cortex, with a striatal to cortex ratio of 2. These results suggest that PET studies with [11C]PHY can provide in vivo brain mapping of human AChE and are promising for the study of changes in AChE levels associated with neurodegenerative diseases.[1]


  1. In vivo imaging of human cerebral acetylcholinesterase. Pappata, S., Tavitian, B., Traykov, L., Jobert, A., Dalger, A., Mangin, J.F., Crouzel, C., DiGiamberardino, L. J. Neurochem. (1996) [Pubmed]
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