Imperial College London

Dr David R Owen MD PhD

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Clinical Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 3313 6195d.owen Website

 
 
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Location

 

G20AICTEM buildingHammersmith Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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94 results found

Nutma E, Gebro E, Marzin MC, van der Valk P, Matthews PM, Owen DR, Amor Set al., 2021, Activated microglia do not increase 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) expression in the multiple sclerosis brain, GLIA, Vol: 69, Pages: 2447-2458, ISSN: 0894-1491

To monitor innate immune responses in the CNS, the 18 kDa Translocator protein (TSPO) is a frequently used target for PET imaging. The frequent assumption that increased TSPO expression in the human CNS reflects pro-inflammatory activation of microglia has been extrapolated from rodent studies. However, TSPO expression does not increase in activated human microglia in vitro. Studies of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions reveal that TSPO is not restricted to pro-inflammatory microglia/macrophages, but also present in homeostatic or reparative microglia. Here, we investigated quantitative relationships between TSPO expression and microglia/macrophage phenotypes in white matter and lesions of brains with MS pathology. In white matter from brains with no disease pathology, normal appearing white matter (NAWM), active MS lesions and chronic active lesion rims, over 95% of TSPO+ cells are microglia/macrophages. Homeostatic microglial markers in NAWM and control tissue are lost/reduced in active lesions and chronic active lesion rims, reflecting cell activation. Nevertheless, pixel analysis of TSPO+ cells (n = 12,225) revealed that TSPO expression per cell is no higher in active lesions and chronic active lesion rims (where myeloid cells are activated) relative to NAWM and control. This data suggests that whilst almost all the TSPO signal in active lesions, chronic active lesion rims, NAWM and control is associated with microglia/macrophages, their TSPO expression predominantly reflects cell density and not activation phenotype. This finding has implications for the interpretation of TSPO PET signal in MS and other CNS diseases, and further demonstrates the limitation of extrapolating TSPO biology from rodents to humans.

Journal article

Ramakrishnan NK, Hird M, Thompson S, Williamson DJ, Qiao L, Owen DR, Brooks AF, Scott PJH, Bacallado S, O'Brien JT, Aigbirhio FIet al., 2021, Preclinical evaluation of (S)-[18F]GE387, a novel 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) PET radioligand with low binding sensitivity to human polymorphism rs6971, European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, ISSN: 0340-6997

PURPOSE: Positron emission tomography (PET) studies with radioligands for 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) have been instrumental in increasing our understanding of the complex role neuroinflammation plays in disorders affecting the brain. However, (R)-[11C]PK11195, the first and most widely used TSPO radioligand has limitations, while the next-generation TSPO radioligands have suffered from high interindividual variability in binding due to a genetic polymorphism in the TSPO gene (rs6971). Herein, we present the biological evaluation of the two enantiomers of [18F]GE387, which we have previously shown to have low sensitivity to this polymorphism. METHODS: Dynamic PET scans were conducted in male Wistar rats and female rhesus macaques to investigate the in vivo behaviour of (S)-[18F]GE387 and (R)-[18F]GE387. The specific binding of (S)-[18F]GE387 to TSPO was investigated by pre-treatment with (R)-PK11195. (S)-[18F]GE387 was further evaluated in a rat model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation. Sensitivity to polymorphism of (S)-GE387 was evaluated in genotyped human brain tissue. RESULTS: (S)-[18F]GE387 and (R)-[18F]GE387 entered the brain in both rats and rhesus macaques. (R)-PK11195 blocked the uptake of (S)-[18F]GE387 in healthy olfactory bulb and peripheral tissues constitutively expressing TSPO. A 2.7-fold higher uptake of (S)-[18F]GE387 was found in the inflamed striatum of LPS-treated rodents. In genotyped human brain tissue, (S)-GE387 was shown to bind similarly in low affinity binders (LABs) and high affinity binders (HABs) with a LAB to HAB ratio of 1.8. CONCLUSION: We established that (S)-[18F]GE387 has favourable kinetics in healthy rats and non-human primates and that it can distinguish inflamed from normal brain regions in the LPS model of neuroinflammation. Crucially, we have reconfirmed its low sensitivity to the TSPO polymorphism on genotyped human brain tissue. Based on these factors, we conclude that (S)-[18F]GE387 warrants furt

Journal article

Feleke R, Reynolds RH, Smith AM, Tilley B, Taliun SAG, Hardy J, Matthews PM, Gentleman S, Owen DR, Johnson MR, Srivastava PK, Ryten Met al., 2021, Cross-platform transcriptional profiling identifies common and distinct molecular pathologies in Lewy body diseases, Acta Neuropathologica, Vol: 142, Pages: 449-474, ISSN: 0001-6322

Parkinson's disease (PD), Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are three clinically, genetically and neuropathologically overlapping neurodegenerative diseases collectively known as the Lewy body diseases (LBDs). A variety of molecular mechanisms have been implicated in PD pathogenesis, but the mechanisms underlying PDD and DLB remain largely unknown, a knowledge gap that presents an impediment to the discovery of disease-modifying therapies. Transcriptomic profiling can contribute to addressing this gap, but remains limited in the LBDs. Here, we applied paired bulk-tissue and single-nucleus RNA-sequencing to anterior cingulate cortex samples derived from 28 individuals, including healthy controls, PD, PDD and DLB cases (n = 7 per group), to transcriptomically profile the LBDs. Using this approach, we (i) found transcriptional alterations in multiple cell types across the LBDs; (ii) discovered evidence for widespread dysregulation of RNA splicing, particularly in PDD and DLB; (iii) identified potential splicing factors, with links to other dementia-related neurodegenerative diseases, coordinating this dysregulation; and (iv) identified transcriptomic commonalities and distinctions between the LBDs that inform understanding of the relationships between these three clinical disorders. Together, these findings have important implications for the design of RNA-targeted therapies for these diseases and highlight a potential molecular "window" of therapeutic opportunity between the initial onset of PD and subsequent development of Lewy body dementia.

Journal article

Marques TR, Veronese M, Owen DR, Rabiner EA, Searle GE, Howes ODet al., 2021, Specific and non-specific binding of a tracer for the translocator-specific protein in schizophrenia: an [11C]-PBR28 blocking study, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING, Vol: 48, Pages: 3530-3539, ISSN: 1619-7070

Journal article

Voysey M, Clemens SAC, Madhi SA, Weckx LY, Folegatti PM, Aley PK, Angus B, Baillie VL, Barnabas SL, Bhorat QE, Bibi S, Briner C, Cicconi P, Clutterbuck EA, Collins AM, Cutland CL, Darton TC, Dheda K, Dold C, Duncan CJA, Emary KRW, Ewer KJ, Flaxman A, Fairlie L, Faust SN, Feng S, Ferreira DM, Finn A, Galiza E, Goodman AL, Green CM, Green CA, Greenland M, Hill C, Hill HC, Hirsch I, Izu A, Jenkin D, Joe CCD, Kerridge S, Koen A, Kwatra G, Lazarus R, Libri V, Lillie PJ, Marchevsky NG, Marshall RP, Mendes AVA, Milan EP, Minassian AM, McGregor A, Mujadidi YF, Nana A, Padayachee SD, Phillips DJ, Pittella A, Plested E, Pollock KM, Ramasamy MN, Ritchie AJ, Robinson H, Schwarzbold AV, Smith A, Song R, Snape MD, Sprinz E, Sutherland RK, Thomson EC, Torok ME, Toshner M, Turner DPJ, Vekemans J, Villafana TL, White T, Williams CJ, Douglas AD, Hill AVS, Lambe T, Gilbert SC, Pollard AJet al., 2021, Single-dose administration and the influence of the timing of the booster dose on immunogenicity and efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine: a pooled analysis of four randomised trials, The Lancet, Vol: 397, Pages: 881-891, ISSN: 0140-6736

BackgroundThe ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine has been approved for emergency use by the UK regulatory authority, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, with a regimen of two standard doses given with an interval of 4–12 weeks. The planned roll-out in the UK will involve vaccinating people in high-risk categories with their first dose immediately, and delivering the second dose 12 weeks later. Here, we provide both a further prespecified pooled analysis of trials of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and exploratory analyses of the impact on immunogenicity and efficacy of extending the interval between priming and booster doses. In addition, we show the immunogenicity and protection afforded by the first dose, before a booster dose has been offered.MethodsWe present data from three single-blind randomised controlled trials—one phase 1/2 study in the UK (COV001), one phase 2/3 study in the UK (COV002), and a phase 3 study in Brazil (COV003)—and one double-blind phase 1/2 study in South Africa (COV005). As previously described, individuals 18 years and older were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive two standard doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (5 × 1010 viral particles) or a control vaccine or saline placebo. In the UK trial, a subset of participants received a lower dose (2·2 × 1010 viral particles) of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 for the first dose. The primary outcome was virologically confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 disease, defined as a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)-positive swab combined with at least one qualifying symptom (fever ≥37·8°C, cough, shortness of breath, or anosmia or ageusia) more than 14 days after the second dose. Secondary efficacy analyses included cases occuring at least 22 days after the first dose. Antibody responses measured by immunoassay and by pseudovirus neutralisation were exploratory outcomes. All cases of COVID-19 with a NAAT-positive swab were adjudicated for inclusion in the analysis by a masked

Journal article

Nutma E, Ceyzeriat K, Amor S, Tsartsalis S, Millet P, Owen DR, Papadopoulos V, Tournier BBet al., 2021, Cellular sources of TSPO expression in healthy and diseased brain, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING, ISSN: 1619-7070

Journal article

Voysey M, Clemens SAC, Madhi SA, Weckx LY, Folegatti PM, Aley PK, Angus B, Baillie VL, Barnabas SL, Bhorat QE, Bibi S, Briner C, Cicconi P, Collins AM, Colin-Jones R, Cutland CL, Darton TC, Dheda K, Duncan CJA, Emary KRW, Ewer KJ, Fairlie L, Faust SN, Feng S, Ferreira DM, Finn A, Goodman AL, Green CM, Green CA, Heath PT, Hill C, Hill H, Hirsch I, Hodgson SHC, Izu A, Jackson S, Jenkin D, Joe CCD, Kerridge S, Koen A, Kwatra G, Lazarus R, Lawrie AM, Lelliott A, Libri V, Lillie PJ, Mallory R, Mendes AVA, Milan EP, Minassian AM, McGregor A, Morrison H, Mujadidi YF, Nana A, O'Reilly PJ, Padayachee SD, Pittella A, Plested E, Pollock KM, Ramasamy MN, Rhead S, Schwarzbold AV, Singh N, Smith A, Song R, Snape MD, Sprinz E, Sutherland RK, Tarrant R, Thomson EC, Török ME, Toshner M, Turner DPJ, Vekemans J, Villafana TL, Watson MEE, Williams CJ, Douglas AD, Hill AVS, Lambe T, Gilbert SC, Pollard AJ, Oxford COVID Vaccine Trial Groupet al., 2021, Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK, The Lancet, Vol: 397, Pages: 99-111, ISSN: 0140-6736

BACKGROUND: A safe and efficacious vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), if deployed with high coverage, could contribute to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in a pooled interim analysis of four trials. METHODS: This analysis includes data from four ongoing blinded, randomised, controlled trials done across the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Participants aged 18 years and older were randomly assigned (1:1) to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or control (meningococcal group A, C, W, and Y conjugate vaccine or saline). Participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group received two doses containing 5 × 1010 viral particles (standard dose; SD/SD cohort); a subset in the UK trial received a half dose as their first dose (low dose) and a standard dose as their second dose (LD/SD cohort). The primary efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a nucleic acid amplification test-positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were analysed according to treatment received, with data cutoff on Nov 4, 2020. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 1 - relative risk derived from a robust Poisson regression model adjusted for age. Studies are registered at ISRCTN89951424 and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606, NCT04400838, and NCT04444674. FINDINGS: Between April 23 and Nov 4, 2020, 23 848 participants were enrolled and 11 636 participants (7548 in the UK, 4088 in Brazil) were included in the interim primary efficacy analysis. In participants who received two standard doses, vaccine efficacy was 62·1% (95% CI 41·0-75·7; 27 [0·6%] of 4440 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group vs71 [1·6%] of 4455 in the control group) and in participants who received a low dose followed by a standard dose, efficacy was 90·0% (67·4-97·0; three [0·2%] of 1367 vs 30 [2·2%] of 1374; pin

Journal article

Kreisl WC, Kim M-J, Coughlin JM, Henter ID, Owen DR, Innis RBet al., 2020, PET imaging of neuroinflammation in neurological disorders, LANCET NEUROLOGY, Vol: 19, Pages: 940-950, ISSN: 1474-4422

Journal article

Nicholas R, Brooks D, Owen D, 2020, 18F-GE180, a radioligand for the TSPO protein: not ready for clinical trials in multiple sclerosis, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING, Vol: 47, Pages: 2242-2243, ISSN: 1619-7070

Journal article

Nutma E, Stephenson JA, Gorter RP, de Bruin J, Boucherie DM, Donat CK, Breur M, van der Valk P, Matthews P, Owen D, Amor Set al., 2019, A quantitative neuropathological assessment of translocator protein expression in multiple sclerosis, Brain, Vol: 142, Pages: 3440-3455, ISSN: 1460-2156

The 18kDa translocator protein (TSPO) is increasingly used to study brain and spinal cord inflammation in degenerative diseases of the CNS such as multiple sclerosis. The enhanced TSPO PET signal that arises during disease is widely-considered to reflect activated pathogenicmicroglia, although quantitative neuropathological data to support this interpretation has not been available. With the increasing interest in the role of chronic microglial activation in multiple sclerosis, characterising the cellular neuropathology associated with TSPO expression is of clear importance for understanding the cellular and pathological processes on which TSPO PET imaging is reporting.Here we have studied the cellular expression of TSPO and specific binding of two TSPO targeting radioligands ([3H]PK11195 and [3H]PBR28) in tissue sections from 42 multiple sclerosis cases and 12 age-matched controls. Markers of homeostatic and reactive microglia, astrocytes, and lymphocytes were used to investigate the phenotypes of cells expressing TSPO. There was an approximate 20-fold increase in cells double positive for TSPO and human leukocyte antigen -DR in active lesions and in the rim of chronic active lesion, relative to normal appearing white matter. TSPO was uniformly expressed across myeloid cells irrespective of their phenotype, rather than being preferentially associated with pro-inflammatory microglia or macrophages. TSPO+astrocytes were increased up to 7-fold compared to normal appearing white matter across all lesion sub-types and accounted for 25% of the TSPO+ cells in these lesions. To relate TSPO protein expression to ligand binding, specific binding of the TSPO ligands [3H]PK11195 and [3H]PBR28was determined in the same lesions. TSPO radioligand binding was increased up to seven times for [3H]PBR28 and up to two times for [3H]PK11195 in active lesions and the centre of chronic ac

Journal article

Sridharan S, Raffel J, Nandoskar A, Record C, Brooks DJ, Owen D, Sharp D, Muraro PA, Gunn R, Nicholas Ret al., 2019, Confirmation of specific binding of the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) radioligand [18F]GE-180: a blocking study using XBD173 in multiple sclerosis normal appearing white and grey matter, Molecular Imaging and Biology, Vol: 21, Pages: 935-944, ISSN: 1536-1632

Purpose: Positron emission tomography (PET) ligands exhibit different levels of non-displaceable binding in vivo. In the case of ligands for the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO), the component of non-displaceable binding for the most widely used radiotracer, [11C]-(R)-PK11195, is relatively high compared to that for newer TSPO ligands. Non-displaceable binding is not often quantified in humans in vivo, partially due to a lack of available ligands that are known to be safe with which to displace binding to the target receptor. Recently, however, a technique has been developed to quantify the non-displaceable binding of TSPO tracers in vivo, by blocking the receptor with the TSPO ligand XBD173 and comparing the total volume of distribution ( ) pre and post-blockade. Here, we used an occupancy plot to quantify the non-displaceable binding ( ) of the TSPO PET tracers [18F]GE-180 and [11C]PBR28 in cohorts of people with multiple sclerosis (MS). We also compared plots of subjects carrying both high and mixed binding affinity polymorphisms of TSPO to estimate while potentially avoiding the need for receptor blockade.Procedures: Twelve people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and high (HAB) or mixed (MAB) affinity binding for TSPO underwent baseline MRI and 90-minute dynamic [18F]GE-180 PET (n=6; 3 HAB and 3 MAB) or [11C]PBR28 PET (n=6; 3 HAB, 3 MAB). Either one week later ([18F]GE-180) or the same afternoon ([11C]PBR28), participants had repeat PET following a 90mg dose of XBD173. PET images were co-registered with T1 MR volumetric images and regions of interest (ROIs) were defined using the 83-region Hammers atlas. Arterial blood sampling was used to generate plasma input functions for the two-tissue compartment model to quantify . The non-displaceable fraction of the total volume of distribution ( ) was calculated using two independent methods: the occupancy plot (by modelling the differences in signal post XBD173), and the polymorphism plot (by modelling the differences in

Journal article

Fancy NN, Srivastava P, Matthews PM, Owen DRet al., 2019, A bioinformatics approach to understand the regulation of TSPO gene expression in myeloid cells, 35th Congress of the European-Committee-for-Treatment-and-Research-in-Multiple-Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) / 24th Annual Conference of Rehabilitation in MS, Publisher: SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, Pages: 222-222, ISSN: 1352-4585

Conference paper

Smith AM, Khozoie C, Fancy N, Srivastava P, Matthews PM, Owen D, Reynolds Ret al., 2019, Single nucleus RNA sequencing of post-mortem multiple sclerosis cortical grey matter, 35th Congress of the European-Committee-for-Treatment-and-Research-in-Multiple-Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) / 24th Annual Conference of Rehabilitation in MS, Publisher: SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, Pages: 233-233, ISSN: 1352-4585

Conference paper

Weinert M, Cowley SA, Alavian KN, Matthews PM, Owen DRet al., 2019, Exploring the mitochondrial TSPO protein as a possible immunometabolic modulatory target for treatment of multiple sclerosis, 35th Congress of the European-Committee-for-Treatment-and-Research-in-Multiple-Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) / 24th Annual Conference of Rehabilitation in MS, Publisher: SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, Pages: 515-515, ISSN: 1352-4585

Conference paper

Field SM, Burstow NJ, Owen DR, Sam SAHet al., 2019, Using team-based revision to prepare medical students for the prescribing safety assessment, Advances in Medical Education and Practice, Vol: 2019, Pages: 501-506, ISSN: 1179-7258

BackgroundThe Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) is an online assessment of safe and effective prescribing, taken by final-year UK medical students. To prepare students for the PSA, we used a modified form of team-based learning, team-based revision (TBR), in which students consolidate previously learned prescribing knowledge and skills across a broad range of topics. We evaluated students’ response to TBR and their perceptions of team working. MethodsEight TBR sessions based on the PSA blueprint were conducted over two days by three faculty members for final year medical students. During TBR sessions, students worked in small groups answering individual multiple-choice questions, followed by group multiple-choice questions. They subsequently answered open-ended questions in their groups, with answers written on a drug chart to increase authenticity. Students completed surveys using Likert-type items to determine views on TBR and their confidence in prescribing. ResultsThe majority of respondents agreed that the sessions were useful for preparation both for the PSA (82%) and Foundation Year 1 (78%). 92% agreed that using drug-charts aided learning. Prescribing confidence increased significantly after TBR (median pre-TBR: 2, post-TBR: 5, p<0.0001). TBR significantly improved attitudes towards ‘team experience’ (p<0.001), ‘team impact on quality of learning’ (p<0.01) and ‘team impact on clinical reasoning ability’ (p <0.001). ConclusionsTeam-based revision is a resource-efficient addition to undergraduate prescribing teaching and can help with preparation for the PSA. A short course of TBR was effective in influencing students’ attitudes towards teamwork.

Journal article

Galloway DA, Phillips AEM, Owen DRJ, Moore CSet al., 2019, Phagocytosis in the Brain: Homeostasis and Disease (vol 10, 790, 2019), FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1664-3224

Journal article

Sam SA, Fung CY, Wilson R, Peleva E, Kluth D, Lupton M, Owen D, Melville C, Meeran Met al., 2019, Using prescribing very short answer questions to identify sources of medication errors: a prospective study in two UK medical schools, BMJ Open, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-5, ISSN: 2044-6055

Objective To assess the utility and ability of the novel prescribing very short answer (VSA) question format to identify the sources of undergraduate prescribing errors when compared with the conventional single best answer (SBA) question format and assess the acceptability of machine marking prescribing VSAs.Design A prospective study involving analysis of data generated from a pilot two-part prescribing assessment.Setting Two UK medical schools.Participants 364 final year medical students took part. Participation was voluntary. There were no other inclusion or exclusion criteria.Outcomes (1) Time taken to mark and verify VSA questions (acceptability), (2) differences between VSA and SBA scores, (3) performance in VSA and (4) SBA format across different subject areas and types of prescribing error made in the VSA format.Results 18 200 prescribing VSA questions were marked and verified in 91 min. The median percentage score for the VSA test was significantly lower than the SBA test (28% vs 64%, p<0.0001). Significantly more prescribing errors were detected in the VSA format than the SBA format across all domains, notably in prescribing insulin (96.4% vs 50.3%, p<0.0001), fluids (95.6% vs 55%, p<0.0001) and analgesia (85.7% vs 51%, p<0.0001). Of the incorrect VSA responses, 33.1% were due to the medication prescribed, 6.0% due to the dose, 1.4% due to the route and 4.8% due to the frequency.Conclusions Prescribing VSA questions represent an efficient tool for providing detailed insight into the sources of significant prescribing errors, which are not identified by SBA questions. This makes the prescribing VSA a valuable formative assessment tool to enhance students’ skills in safe prescribing and to potentially reduce prescribing errors.

Journal article

Galloway DA, Phillips AEM, Owen D, Moore CSet al., 2019, Phagocytosis in the brain: homeostasis and disease, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1664-3224

Microglia are resident macrophages of the central nervous system and significantly contribute to overall brain function by participating in phagocytosis during development, homeostasis, and diseased states. Phagocytosis is a highly complex process that is specialized for the uptake and removal of opsonized and non-opsonized targets, such as pathogens, apoptotic cells, and cellular debris. While the role of phagocytosis in mediating classical innate and adaptive immune responses has been known for decades, it is now appreciated that phagocytosis is also critical throughout early neural development, homeostasis, and initiating repair mechanisms. As such, modulating phagocytic processes has provided unexplored avenues with the intent of developing novel therapeutics that promote repair and regeneration in the CNS. Here, we review the functional consequences that phagocytosis plays in both the healthy and diseased CNS, and summarize how phagocytosis contributes to overall pathophysiological mechanisms involved in brain injury and repair.

Journal article

Sridharan S, Raffel J, Nandoskar A, Record C, Brooks D, Owen D, Sharp D, Muraro P, Gunn R, Nicholas Ret al., 2018, Confirmation of specific binding of the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) radioligand [F-18]GE-180: a blocking study using XDB173 in multiple sclerosis, 34th Congress of the European-Committee-for-Treatment-and-Research-in-Multiple-Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), Publisher: SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, Pages: 421-422, ISSN: 1352-4585

Conference paper

Narayan N, Owen D, Mandhair H, Smyth E, Carlucci F, Saleem A, Gunn R, Rabiner EIA, Wells L, Dakin S, Sabokbar A, Taylor Pet al., 2018, Translocator protein as an imaging marker of macrophage and stromal activation in RA pannus, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Vol: 59, Pages: 1125-1132, ISSN: 1535-5667

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radioligands targeted to Translocator protein (TSPO), offer a highly sensitive and specific means of imaging joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Through high expression of TSPO on activated macrophages, TSPO PET has been widely reported in several studies of RA as a means of imaging synovial macrophages in vivo. However, this premise does not take into account the ubiquitous expression of TSPO. This study aimed to investigate TSPO expression in major cellular constituents of RA pannus; monocytes, macrophages, fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) and CD4+ T lymphocytes, to more accurately interpret TSPO PET signal from RA synovium. Methods: 3 RA patients and 3 healthy volunteers underwent PET both knees using the TSPO radioligand 11C-PBR28. Through synovial tissue 3H-PBR28 autoradiography and immunostaining of 6 RA patients and 6 healthy volunteers, cellular expression of TSPO in synovial tissue was evaluated. TSPO mRNA expression and 3H-PBR28 radioligand binding was assessed using in vitro monocytes, macrophages, FLS and CD4+ T-lymphocytes. Results:11C-PBR28 PET signal was significantly higher in RA compared to healthy joints (average SUV 0.82± 0.12 compared to 0.03± 0.004 respectively, p<0.01). Further, 3H-PBR28 specific binding in synovial tissue was approximately 10-fold higher in RA compared to healthy controls. Immunofluorescence revealed TSPO expression on macrophages, FLS and CD4+ T cells. In vitro study demonstrated highest TSPO mRNA expression and 3H-PBR28 specific binding, in activated FLS, non-activated and activated 'M2' reparative macrophages, with least TSPO expression in activated and non-activated CD4+ T lymphocytes. Conclusion: This study is the first evaluation of cellular TSPO expression in synovium, finding highest TSPO expression and PBR28 binding on activated synovial FLS and M2 phenotype macrophages. TSPO targeted PET may therefore have unique sensitivity to detect FLS and macropha

Journal article

Scott GPT, Zetterberg H, Jolly A, Cole JH, De Simoni S, Jenkins PO, Feeney C, Owen DR, Lingford-Hughes A, Howes O, Patel MC, Goldstone AP, Gunn RN, Blennow K, Matthews PM, Sharp DJet al., 2017, Minocycline reduces chronic microglial activation after brain trauma but increases neurodegeneration, Brain, Vol: 141, Pages: 459-471, ISSN: 1460-2156

Survivors of a traumatic brain injury can deteriorate years later, developing brain atrophy and dementia. Traumatic brain injury triggers chronic microglial activation, but it is unclear whether this is harmful or beneficial. A successful chronic-phase treatment for traumatic brain injury might be to target microglia. In experimental models, the antibiotic minocycline inhibits microglial activation. We investigated the effect of minocycline on microglial activation and neurodegeneration using PET, MRI, and measurement of the axonal protein neurofilament light in plasma. Microglial activation was assessed using 11C-PBR28 PET. The relationships of microglial activation to measures of brain injury, and the effects of minocycline on disease progression, were assessed using structural and diffusion MRI, plasma neurofilament light, and cognitive assessment. Fifteen patients at least 6 months after a moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury received either minocycline 100 mg orally twice daily or no drug, for 12 weeks. At baseline, 11C-PBR28 binding in patients was increased compared to controls in cerebral white matter and thalamus, and plasma neurofilament light levels were elevated. MRI measures of white matter damage were highest in areas of greater 11C-PBR28 binding. Minocycline reduced 11C-PBR28 binding (mean Δwhite matter binding = −23.30%, 95% confidence interval −40.9 to −5.64%, P = 0.018), but increased plasma neurofilament light levels. Faster rates of brain atrophy were found in patients with higher baseline neurofilament light levels. In this experimental medicine study, minocycline after traumatic brain injury reduced chronic microglial activation while increasing a marker of neurodegeneration. These findings suggest that microglial activation has a reparative effect in the chronic phase of traumatic brain injury.

Journal article

Owen DRJ, Fan J, Campioli E, Venugopal S, Midzak A, Daly E, Harlay A, Issop L, Libri V, Kalogiannopoulou D, Oliver E, Gallego-Colon E, Colasanti A, Huson L, Rabiner EA, Suppiah P, Essagian C, Matthews PM, Papadopoulos Vet al., 2017, TSPO mutations in rats and a human polymorphism impair the rate of steroid synthesis, Biochemical Journal, Vol: 474, Pages: 3985-3999, ISSN: 1470-8728

The 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) is a ubiquitous conserved outer mitochondrial membrane protein implicated in numerous cell and tissue functions, including steroid hormone biosynthesis, respiration, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. TSPO binds with high affinity to cholesterol and numerous compounds, is expressed at high levels in steroid-synthesizing tissues, and mediates cholesterol import into mitochondria, which is the rate-limiting step in steroid formation. In humans, the rs6971 polymorphism on the TSPO gene leads to an amino acid substitution in the fifth transmembrane loop of the protein, which is where the cholesterol-binding domain of TSPO is located, and this polymorphism has been associated with anxiety-related disorders. However, recent knockout mouse models have provided inconsistent conclusions of whether TSPO is directly involved in steroid synthesis. In this report, we show that TSPO deletion mutations in rat and its corresponding rs6971 polymorphism in humans alter adrenocorticotropic hormone-induced plasma corticosteroid concentrations. Rat tissues examined show increased cholesteryl ester accumulation, and neurosteroid formation was undetectable in homozygous rats. These results also support a role for TSPO ligands in diseases with steroid-dependent stress and anxiety elements.

Journal article

Fujita M, Kobayashi M, Ikawa M, Gunn RN, Rabiner EA, Owen DR, Zoghbi SS, Haskali MB, Telu S, Pike VW, Innis RBet al., 2017, Comparison of four (11)C-labeled PET ligands to quantify translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) in human brain: (R)-PK11195, PBR28, DPA-713, and ER176-based on recent publications that measured specific-to-non-displaceable ratios., EJNMMI Research, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2191-219X

Translocator protein (TSPO) is a biomarker for detecting neuroinflammation by PET. (11)C-(R)-PK11195 has been used to image TSPO since the 1980s. Here, we compared the utility of four (11)C-labeled ligands-(R)-PK11195, PBR28, DPA-713, and ER176-to quantify TSPO in healthy humans. For all of these ligands, BP ND (specific-to-non-displaceable ratio of distribution volumes) was measured by partially blocking specific binding with XNBD173 administration. In high-affinity binders, DPA-713 showed the highest BP ND of 7.3 followed by ER176 (4.2), PBR28 (1.2), and PK11195 (0.8). Only ER176 allows the inclusion of low-affinity binders because of little influence of radiometabolites and high BP ND. If inclusion of all three genotypes is important for study logistics, ER176 is the best of these four radioligands for studying neuroinflammation.

Journal article

Narayan N, Mandhair H, Smyth E, Dakin SG, Kiriakidis S, Wells L, Owen D, Sabokbar A, Taylor Pet al., 2017, The macrophage marker translocator protein (TSPO) is down-regulated on pro-inflammatory 'M1' human macrophages., PLoS ONE, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1932-6203

The translocator protein (TSPO) is a mitochondrial membrane protein, of as yet uncertain function. Its purported high expression on activated macrophages, has lent utility to TSPO targeted molecular imaging in the form of positron emission tomography (PET), as a means to detect and quantify inflammation in vivo. However, existing literature regarding TSPO expression on human activated macrophages is lacking, mostly deriving from brain tissue studies, including studies of brain malignancy, and inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Here, we utilized three human sources of monocyte derived macrophages (MDM), from THP-1 monocytes, healthy peripheral blood monocytes and synovial fluid monocytes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, to undertake a detailed investigation of TSPO expression in activated macrophages. In this work, we demonstrate a consistent down-regulation of TSPO mRNA and protein in macrophages activated to a pro-inflammatory, or 'M1' phenotype. Conversely, stimulation of macrophages to an M2 phenotype with IL-4, dexamethasone or TGF-β1 did not alter TSPO expression, regardless of MDM source. The reasons for this are uncertain, but our study findings add some supporting evidence for recent investigations concluding that TSPO may be involved in negative regulation of inflammatory responses in macrophages.

Journal article

Falk IN, Maric D, Lefeuvre J, Luciano N, Sati P, Leibovitch E, Billioux J, Reich D, Owen D, Matthews P, Jacobson Set al., 2017, Characterization of TSPO expression by conventional and mutliplex immunohistochemistry in marmoset EAE, 7th Joint European-Committee-for-Treatment-and-Research-in-Multiple-Sclerosis (ECTRIMS)-Americas-Committee-for-Treatment-and-Research-in-Multiple-Sclerosis (ACTRIMS), Publisher: SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, Pages: 765-765, ISSN: 1352-4585

Conference paper

Datta G, Colasanti A, Kalk N, Owen DR, Scott G, Rabiner EI, Gunn R, Lingford-Hughes A, Malik O, Ciccarelli O, Nicholas R, Nie L, Battaglini M, De Stefano N, Matthews Pet al., 2017, [(11)C]PBR28 or [(18)F]PBR111 detect white matter inflammatory heterogeneity in multiple sclerosis, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Vol: 58, Pages: 1477-1482, ISSN: 1535-5667

Objective: To assess microglial activation in lesions and in normal appearing white matter of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients using positron emission tomography (PET). Methods: 34 MS patients (7 with secondary progressive MS (SPMS), 27 with relapsing remitting MS (RRMS)) and 30 healthy volunteers, genetically stratified for translocator protein (TSPO), binding status underwent PET scanning with TSPO radioligands ((11)C-PBR28 or (18)F-PBR111). Regional TSPO availability was measured as a distribution volume ratio (DVR) relative to the caudate (a pseudo-reference region). White matter lesions (WML) were classified as "active" (DVR highest in the lesion), "peripherally active" (peri-lesional DVR highest), "inactive" (DVR highest in surrounding normal appearing white matter, NAWM) or "undifferentiated" (similar DVR across lesion, peri-lesional and NAWM volumes). Results: The mean DVR in NAWM of patients was greater than that of the healthy volunteer white matter for both radioligands. Uptake for individual WML in patients was heterogeneous, but the median WML DVR and NAWM DVR for individual patients were strongly correlated (ρ = 0.94, P = 4x10-11). A higher proportion of lesions were inactive in patients with SPMS (35 %) than RRMS (23 %), but active lesions were found in all patients, including those on highly efficacious treatments. Conclusion: TSPO radioligand uptake was increased in brains of MS patients relative to healthy controls with two TSPO radiotracers. WML showed heterogeneous patterns of uptake. Active lesions were found in patients with both RRMS and SPMS. Their independent prognostic significance needs further investigation.

Journal article

Owen DRJ, Narayan N, Wells L, Healy L, Smyth E, Rabiner EA, Galloway D, Williams JB, Lehr J, Mandhir H, Peferoen LAN, Taylor PC, Amor S, Antel JP, Matthews PM, Moore CSet al., 2017, Pro-inflammatory activation of primary microglia and macrophages increases 18kDa Translocator Protein (TSPO) expression in rodents but not humans, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, Vol: 37, Pages: 2679-2690, ISSN: 1559-7016

The 18kDa Translocator Protein (TSPO) is the most commonly used tissue-specific marker of inflammation in positron emission tomography (PET) studies. It is expressed in myeloid cells such as microglia and macrophages, and in rodent myeloid cells expression increases with cellular activation. We assessed the effect of myeloid cell activation on TSPO gene expression in both primary human and rodent microglia and macrophages in vitro, and also measured TSPO radioligand binding with 3H-PBR28 in primary human macrophages. As observed previously, we found that TSPO expression increases (∼9-fold) in rodent-derived macrophages and microglia upon pro-inflammatory stimulation. However, TSPO expression does not increase with classical pro-inflammatory activation in primary human microglia (fold change 0.85 [95% CI 0.58–1.12], p = 0.47). In contrast, pro-inflammatory activation of human monocyte-derived macrophages is associated with a reduction of both TSPO gene expression (fold change 0.60 [95% CI 0.45–0.74], p = 0.02) and TSPO binding site abundance (fold change 0.61 [95% CI 0.49–0.73], p < 0.0001). These findings have important implications for understanding the biology of TSPO in activated macrophages and microglia in humans. They are also clinically relevant for the interpretation of PET studies using TSPO targeting radioligands, as they suggest changes in TSPO expression may reflect microglial and macrophage density rather than activation phenotype.

Journal article

Kobayashi M, Jiang T, Telu S, Zoghbi SS, Gunn RN, Rabiner EA, Owen DR, Guo Q, Pike VW, Innis RB, Fujita Met al., 2017, (11)C-DPA-713 has much greater specific binding to translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) in human brain than (11)C-( R)-PK11195, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, Vol: 38, Pages: 393-403, ISSN: 1559-7016

Positron emission tomography (PET) radioligands for translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) are widely used to measure neuroinflammation, but controversy exists whether second-generation radioligands are superior to the prototypical agent (11)C-( R)-PK11195 in human imaging. This study sought to quantitatively measure the "signal to background" ratio (assessed as binding potential ( BPND)) of (11)C-( R)-PK11195 compared to one of the most promising second-generation radioligands, (11)C-DPA-713. Healthy subjects had dynamic PET scans and arterial blood measurements of radioligand after injection of either (11)C-( R)-PK11195 (16 subjects) or (11)C-DPA-713 (22 subjects). To measure the amount of specific binding, a subset of these subjects was scanned after administration of the TSPO blocking drug XBD173 (30-90 mg PO). (11)C-DPA-713 showed a significant sensitivity to genotype in brain, whereas (11)C-( R)-PK11195 did not. Lassen occupancy plot analysis revealed that the specific binding of (11)C-DPA-713 was much greater than that of (11)C-( R)-PK11195. The BPND in high-affinity binders was about 10-fold higher for (11)C-DPA-713 (7.3) than for (11)C-( R)-PK11195 (0.75). Although the high specific binding of (11)C-DPA-713 suggests it is an ideal ligand to measure TSPO, we also found that its distribution volume increased over time, consistent with the accumulation of radiometabolites in brain.

Journal article

Marques TR, Bloomfield P, Owen D, Gunn R, Rabiner E, Veronese M, Howes Oet al., 2017, PET IMAGING OF NEUROINFLAMMATION IN SCHIZOPHRENIA, 16th International Congress on Schizophrenia Research (ICOSR), Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS, Pages: S64-S65, ISSN: 0586-7614

Conference paper

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