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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(5), 993; doi:10.3390/ijms18050993

Molecular Imaging of Neuroinflammation in Neurodegenerative Dementias: The Role of In Vivo PET Imaging

1
Clinical Neuroscience Department, San Raffaele Turro Hospital, Milan 20121-20162, Italy
2
Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan 20121-20162, Italy
3
Faculty of Psychology and Molecular Medicine Doctoral Course, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan 20121-20162, Italy
4
Nuclear Medicine Unit, San Raffaele Hospital, Milan 20121-20162, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Styliani-Anna E. Tsirka and Jillian Nissen
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microglia in Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1780 KB, uploaded 5 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

Neurodegeneration elicits neuroinflammatory responses to kill pathogens, clear debris and support tissue repair. Neuroinflammation is a dynamic biological response characterized by the recruitment of innate and adaptive immune system cells in the site of tissue damage. Resident microglia and infiltrating immune cells partake in the restoration of central nervous system homeostasis. Nevertheless, their activation may shift to chronic and aggressive responses, which jeopardize neuron survival and may contribute to the disease process itself. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) molecular imaging represents a unique tool contributing to in vivo investigating of neuroinflammatory processes in patients. In the present review, we first provide an overview on the molecular basis of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases with emphasis on microglia activation, astrocytosis and the molecular targets for PET imaging. Then, we review the state-of-the-art of in vivo PET imaging for neuroinflammation in dementia conditions associated with different proteinopathies, such as Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Parkinsonian spectrum. View Full-Text
Keywords: neuroinflammation; microglia activation; astrocytosis; molecular imaging; 11C-PK11195; TSPO-PET Imaging; Alzheimer’s disease; neurodegenerative disorders neuroinflammation; microglia activation; astrocytosis; molecular imaging; 11C-PK11195; TSPO-PET Imaging; Alzheimer’s disease; neurodegenerative disorders
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cerami, C.; Iaccarino, L.; Perani, D. Molecular Imaging of Neuroinflammation in Neurodegenerative Dementias: The Role of In Vivo PET Imaging. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 993.

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