Associations between 18F-AV133 Cerebral VMAT2 Binding and Plasma LDL and HDL Levels in Parkinson’s Disease

Rui Gao, Guangjian Zhang, Xueqi Chen, Savina Reid and Yun Zhou


Purpose: The primary objective of this study was to investigate associations between cerebral presynaptic vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) density and plasma lipid levels in Parkinson’s disease (PD) using quantitative 18F-9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine (18F-AV133) positron emission tomography (PET).
Methods: Ten-min 18F-AV133 PET scans, acquired 80 min post tracer injection, and structural MRI scans for 22 PD patients and four healthy controls were collected from the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative study (PPMI) project. Serum lipid measurements were available for six of the 22 patients. The 18F-AV133 cerebral standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR) relative to the occipital cortex was calculated as an index of VMAT2 density. SPSS and statistical parametric mapping (SPM) software were used to analyze the relationships between lipid indicators (including total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides), and SUVRs in both regions of interest (ROI) and voxelwise levels.
Results: ROI based analysis revealed significant positive linear correlations between serum LDL levels and SUVRs of the medial temporal lobe, amygdala, left anterior putamen, substantia nigra, midbrain and serum LDL levels (r: 0.91 to 0.99, p < 0.01, n = 6). Negative correlations were found between serum HDL and the SUVRs of the caudate, left posterior putamen, and ventral striatum (r: -0.98 to -0.93, p < 0.01, n = 6). SPM analysis showed there were positive correlations between LDL and SUVRs in the right amygdala and uncus. Prominent negative correlations between HDL levels and SUVRs were found in the left caudate and ventral striatum. Conclusion: This pilot study provided evidence of a strong linear correlation between cerebral VMAT2, measured by 18F-AV133 PET, and plasma LDL, HDL levels in PD patients. This correlation indicates that cholesterol might play an important role in the Parkinson’s disease progression.

Published on: March 14, 2016
doi: 10.17756/jnpn.2016-004
Citation:  Gao R, Zhang G, Chen X, Reid S, Zhou Y. 2016. Associations between 18F-AV133 Cerebral VMAT2 Binding and Plasma LDL and HDL Levels in Parkinson’s Disease. J Neuroimaging Psychiatry Neurol 1(1): 20-26.