Feasibility of18 F-Fluorocholine PET for Evaluating Skeletal Muscle Atrophy in a Starved Rat Model

Sun Mi Park, Jisu Kim, Suji Baek, Joo Yeong Jeon, Sang Ju Lee, Seo Young Kang, Min Young Yoo, Hai Jeon Yoon, Seung Hae Kwon, Kiwon Lim, Seung Jun Oh, Bom Sahn Kim, Kang Pa Lee, Byung Seok Moon

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5 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1274
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • F-Fluorocholine
  • MuRF-1
  • atrogin-1
  • positron emission tomography
  • skeletal muscle atrophy


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