Background: Positron-emission-tomography (PET) using 18F labeled florbetaben allows noninvasive
in vivo-assessment of amyloid-beta (Aβ), a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
In preclinical research, [18F]-florbetaben-PET has already been used to test the amyloid-lowering potential
of new drugs, both in humans and in transgenic models of cerebral amyloidosis. The aim of this
study was to characterize the spatial pattern of cerebral uptake of [18F]-florbetaben in the APPswe/
PS1dE9 mouse model of AD in comparison to histologically determined number and size of cerebral
Methods: Both, APPswe/PS1dE9 and wild type mice at an age of 12 months were investigated by smallanimal
PET/CT after intravenous injection of [18F]-florbetaben. High-resolution magnetic resonance
imaging data were used for quantification of the PET data by volume of interest analysis. The standardized
uptake values (SUVs) of [18F]-florbetaben in vivo as well as post mortem cerebral Aβ plaque load
in cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum were analyzed.
Results: Visual inspection and SUVs revealed an increased cerebral uptake of [18F]-florbetaben in APPswe/
PS1dE9 mice compared with wild type mice especially in the cortex, the hippocampus and the
cerebellum. However, SUV ratios (SUVRs) relative to cerebellum revealed only significant differences
in the hippocampus between the APPswe/PS1dE9 and wild type mice but not in cortex; this differential
effect may reflect the lower plaque area in the cortex than in the hippocampus as found in the histological
Conclusion: The findings suggest that histopathological characteristics of Aβ plaque size and spatial
distribution can be depicted in vivo using [18F]-florbetaben in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mouse model.