Comparison of BMIPP-SPECT/CT to18 FDG-PET/CT for Imaging Brown or Browning Fat in a Preclinical Model

Joseph A. Frankl, Yu An, Amber Sherwood, Guiyang Hao, Feng Yun Huang, Pawan Thapa, Deborah J. Clegg, Xiankai Sun, Philipp E. Scherer, Orhan K. Öz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obesity is a leading cause of preventable death and morbidity. To elucidate the mechanisms connecting metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT) and metabolic health may provide insights into methods of treatment for obesity-related conditions.18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18 FDG-PET/CT) is traditionally used to image human BAT activity. However, the primary energy source of BAT is derived from intracellular fatty acids and not glucose. Beta-methyl-p-iodophenylpentadecanoic acid (BMIPP) is a fatty acid analogue amenable to in vivo imaging by single photon emission computed tomography/CT (SPECT/CT) when radiolabeled with iodine isotopes. In this study, we compare the use of18 FDG-PET/CT and125 I-BMIPP-SPECT/CT for fat imaging to ascertain whether BMIPP is a more robust candidate for the non-invasive evaluation of metabolically active adipose depots. Interscapular BAT, inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT), and gonadal white adipose tissue (gWAT) uptake of18 FDG and125 I-BMIPP was quantified in mice following treatment with the BAT-stimulating drug CL-316,243 or saline vehicle control. After CL-316,243 treatment, uptake of both radiotracers increased in BAT and iWAT. The standard uptake value (SUVmean) for18 FDG and125 I-BMIPP significantly correlated in these depots, although uptake of125 I-BMIPP in BAT and iWAT more closely mimicked the fold-change in metabolic rate as measured by an extracellular flux analyzer. Herein, we find that imaging BAT with the radioiodinated fatty acid analogue BMIPP yields more physiologically relevant data than18 FDG-PET/CT, and its conventional use may be a pivotal tool for evaluating BAT in both mice and humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4880
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • FDG
  • PET/CT
  • beta-adrenergic receptor
  • brown fat
  • white adipose tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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