Molecular imaging of conscious, unrestrained mice with AwakeSPECT

Justin S. Baba, Christopher J. Endres, Catherine A. Foss, Sridhar Nimmagadda, Hyeyun Jung, James S. Goddard, Seungjoon Lee, John McKisson, Mark F. Smith, Alexander V. Stolin, Andrew G. Weisenberger, Martin G. Pomper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We have developed a SPECT imaging system, AwakeSPECT, to enable molecular brain imaging of untrained mice that are conscious, unanesthetized, and unrestrained. We accomplished this with head tracking and motion correction techniques. Methods: The capability of the system for motion-corrected imaging was demonstrated with a 99mTc-pertechnetate phantom, 99mTc-methylene diphosphonate bone imaging, and measurement of the binding potential of the dopamine transporter radioligand 123I- ioflupane in mouse brain in the awake and anesthetized (isoflurane) states. Stress induced by imaging in the awake state was assessed through measurement of plasma corticosterone levels. Results: AwakeSPECT provided high-resolution bone images reminiscent of those obtained from CT. The binding potential of 123I-ioflupane in the awake state was on the order of 50% of that obtained with the animal under anesthesia, consistent with previous studies in nonhuman primates. Levels of stress induced were on the order of those seen in other behavioral tasks and imaging studies of awake animals. Conclusion: These results demonstrate the feasibility of SPECT molecular brain imaging of mice in the conscious, unrestrained state and demonstrate the effects of isoflurane anesthesia on radiotracer uptake. COPYRIGHT

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-976
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • Anesthesia
  • Awake
  • Ioflupane
  • Mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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