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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 808713, 9 pages
Research Article

Effects of Anesthesia and Species on the Uptake or Binding of Radioligands In Vivo in the Göttingen Minipig

1Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET Center, Aarhus University Hospital, Nørrebrogade 44, Building 10G, 6th Floor, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
2Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience/MINDLab, Aarhus University, Nørrebrogade 44, Building 10G, 5th Floor, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
3Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, B1137 Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research, UW-Medical Physics, Madison, WI 53706, USA
4Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit, Aarhus University, Skovagervej 2, 8240 Risskov, Denmark and Pharmaceutical Research Center of Excellence, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
5Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 57, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
6Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
7Department of Neurology, University of British Columbia, Purdy Pavillion, University of British Columbia, 2221 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 2B5

Received 30 April 2013; Revised 15 July 2013; Accepted 15 July 2013

Academic Editor: John J. Gildea

Copyright © 2013 Aage K. O. Alstrup et al. 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.


Progress in neuroscience research often involves animals, as no adequate alternatives exist to animal models of living systems. However, both the physiological characteristics of the species used and the effects of anesthesia raise questions of common concern. Here, we demonstrate the confounding influences of these effects on tracer binding in positron emission tomography (PET). We determined the effects of two routinely used anesthetics (isoflurane and propofol) on the binding of two tracers of monoamine function, [ ]SCH23390, a tracer of the dopamine D1 and D5 receptors, and the alpha2-adrenoceptor antagonist, [ ]yohimbine, in Göttingen minipigs. The kinetics of SCH23390 in the pigs differed from those of our earlier studies in primates. With two different graphical analyses of uptake of SCH23390, the initial clearance values of this tracer were higher with isoflurane than with propofol anesthesia, indicative of differences in blood flow, whereas no significant differences were observed for the volumes of distribution of yohimbine. The study underscores the importance of differences of anesthesia and species when the properties of radioligands are evaluated under different circumstances that may affect blood flow and tracer uptake. These differences must be considered in the choice of a particular animal species and mode of anesthesia for a particular application.