Alpha-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB), or α-methyl alanine, is a nonmetabolized amino acid transported into cells, particularly malignant cells, predominantly by the 'A' amino acid transport system. Since it is not metabolized, [1-11C]-AIB can be used to quantify A-type amino acid transport into cells using a relatively simple compartmental model and quantitative imaging procedures (e.g. positron tomography). The tissue distribution of [1-11C]-AIB was determined in six dogs bearing spontaneous tumors, including lymphosarcoma, osteogenic sarcoma, mammary carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. Quantitative imaging with tissue radioassay confirmation at necropsy showed poor to excellent tumor localization. However, in all cases the concentrations achieved appear adequate for amino acid transport measurement at known tumor locations. The observed low normal brain (due to blood-brain barrier exclusion) and high (relative to brain) tumor concentrations of [1-11C]-AIB suggest that this agent may prove effective for the early detection of human brain tumors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging