Eriksson O, Selvaraju RK, Johansson L, Eriksson JW, Sundin A, Antoni G, Sörensen J, Eriksson B, Korsgren O
Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine 55 (3) 460-465 [2014-03-00; online 2014-02-13]
Serotonergic biosynthesis in the endocrine pancreas, of which the islets of Langerhans is the major constituent, has been implicated in insulin release and β cell proliferation. In this study, we investigated the feasibility of quantitative noninvasive imaging of the serotonergic metabolism in the pancreas using the PET tracer (11)C-5-hydroxy-l-tryptophan ((11)C-5-HTP). Uptake of (11)C-5-HTP, and its specificity for key enzymes in the serotonergic metabolic pathway, was assessed in vitro (INS-1 and PANC1 cells and human islet and exocrine preparations) and in vivo (nonhuman primates and healthy and diabetic rats). In vitro tracer uptake in endocrine cells (INS-1 and human islets), but not PANC1 and exocrine cells, was mediated specifically by intracellular conversion into serotonin. Pancreatic uptake of (11)C-5-HTP in nonhuman primates was markedly decreased by inhibition of the enzyme dopa decarboxylase, which converts (11)C-5-HTP to (11)C-serotonin and increased after inhibition of monoamine oxidase-A, the main enzyme responsible for serotonin degradation. Uptake in the rat pancreas was similarly modulated by inhibition of monoamine oxidase-A and was reduced in animals with induced diabetes. The PET tracer (11)C-5-HTP can be used for quantitative imaging of the serotonergic system in the endocrine pancreas.