In vivo detection of neuropathologic changes in presymptomatic MAPT mutation carriers: A PET and MRI study

Michie Miyoshi, Hitoshi Shinotoh, Zbigniew K. Wszolek, Audrey J. Strongosky, Hitoshi Shimada, Ryosuke Arakawa, Makoto Higuchi, Yoko Ikoma, Fumihiko Yasuno, Kiyoshi Fukushi, Toshiaki Irie, Hiroshi Ito, Tetsuya Suhara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background: Microglial activation and disrupted neurotransmissions may herald symptomatic manifestations in neurodegenerative tauopathies. Methods: We investigated microglial activation with [11C]DAA1106 positron emission tomography (PET), striatal dopaminergic function with l-[β-11C]dopa PET, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity with [11C]N-methylpiperidin-4-yl acetate PET, and morphologic brain changes with MRI in three persons (aged 38-41 years) with frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17), who were presymptomatic gene carriers (PGCs) from an American kindred with pallidopontonigral degeneration. The results from these 3 PGCs were compared with [11C]DAA1106 PET results from age-matched 9 healthy volunteers (HV), and with l-[β-11C]dopa and [11C]MP4A PET results from 10 HV. Values considered significant were more than 2 SDs greater or less than the normal control mean, as the number of subjects was small for group comparisons. Results: Glial activities were increased in the frontal cortex of one PGC, the occipital cortex of two PGCs, and the posterior cingulate cortex of one PGC, although none of the PGCs showed overt glial activation in the brain. Only one of the PGCs showed reduced AChE activity in the temporo-parietal cortex. Three PGCs showed low dopamine synthesis rates in the putamen. Hippocampal atrophy was observed in two PGCs. Conclusions: Hippocampal atrophy and striatal dopaminergic dysfunction may be early disease processes in the pathogenesis of FTDP-17. Neuroinflammation may also be an in vivo signature of tau pathology at a prodromal stage, although current PET techniques may not constantly reveal it as the earliest neuroimaging abnormality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-408
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Acetylcholine
  • Dopamine
  • FTDP-17
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Microglia
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'In vivo detection of neuropathologic changes in presymptomatic MAPT mutation carriers: A PET and MRI study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this