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Evaluating the In Vivo Specificity of [18F]UCB-H for the SV2A Protein, Compared with SV2B and SV2C in Rats Using microPET

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Maria Elisa Serrano, Guillaume Becker, Mohamed Ali Bahri, Alain Seret, Nathalie Mestdagh, Joël Mercier, Frédéric Mievis, Fabrice Giacomelli, Christian Lemaire, Eric Salmon, André Luxen, Alain Plenevaux

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecules (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number9
Published1 May 2019

King's Authors


The synaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2) is involved in synaptic vesicle trafficking. The SV2A isoform is the most studied and its implication in epilepsy therapy led to the development of the first SV2A PET radiotracer [18F]UCB-H. The objective of this study was to evaluate in vivo, using microPET in rats, the specificity of [18F]UCB-H for SV2 isoform A in comparison with the other two isoforms (B and C) through a blocking assay. Twenty Sprague Dawley rats were pre-treated either with the vehicle, or with specific competitors against SV2A (levetiracetam), SV2B (UCB5203) and SV2C (UCB0949). The distribution volume (Vt, Logan plot, t* 15 min) was obtained with a population-based input function. The Vt analysis for the entire brain showed statistically significant differences between the levetiracetam group and the other groups (p < 0.001), but also between the vehicle and the SV2B group (p < 0.05). An in-depth Vt analysis conducted for eight relevant brain structures confirmed the statistically significant differences between the levetiracetam group and the other groups (p < 0.001) and highlighted the superior and the inferior colliculi along with the cortex as regions also displaying statistically significant differences between the vehicle and SV2B groups (p < 0.05). These results emphasize the in vivo specificity of [18F]UCB-H for SV2A against SV2B and SV2C, confirming that [18F]UCB-H is a suitable radiotracer for in vivo imaging of the SV2A proteins with PET.

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