Imaging techniques for diagnosing muscle atrophy and sarcopenia remain insufficient, although various advanced diagnostic methods have been established. We explored the feasibility of18 F-fluorocholine (18 F-FCH) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) for evaluating skeletal muscle atrophy, as an imaging technique that tracks choline level changes in muscles. Cell uptake in L6 cells by18 F-FCH was performed in a complete medium containing serum (untreated group, UN) and a serum-free medium (starved group, ST). Small-animal-dedicated PET/CT imaging with18 F-FCH was examined in in-vivo models with rats that were starved for 2 days to cause muscle atrophy. After the hind limbs were dissected, starvation-induced in-vivo models were anatomically confirmed by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction to evaluate the expression levels of the atrophy markers muscle RING-finger protein-1 (MuRF-1) and atrogin-1.18 F-FCH uptake was lower in the starvation-induced cells than in the untreated group, and in-vivo PET uptake also revealed a similar tendency (the average standardized uptake value (SUVmean) = 0.26 ± 0.06 versus 0.37 ± 0.07, respectively). Furthermore, the expression levels of MuRF-1 and atrogin-1 mRNA were significantly increased in the starvation-induced muscle atrophy of rats compared to the untreated group.18 F-FCH PET/CT may be a promising tool for diagnosing skeletal muscle atrophy.
- positron emission tomography
- skeletal muscle atrophy