J Vet Sci.  2014 Mar;15(1):157-161. 10.4142/jvs.2014.15.1.157.

Effect of Harderian adenectomy on the statistical analyses of mouse brain imaging using positron emission tomography

  • 1Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Korea. ssnahm@konkuk.ac.kr
  • 2Molecular Imaging Research Center, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706, Korea.


Positron emission tomography (PET) using 2-deoxy-2-[18F] fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) as a radioactive tracer is a useful technique for in vivo brain imaging. However, the anatomical and physiological features of the Harderian gland limit the use of FDG-PET imaging in the mouse brain. The gland shows strong FDG uptake, which in turn results in distorted PET images of the frontal brain region. The purpose of this study was to determine if a simple surgical procedure to remove the Harderian gland prior to PET imaging of mouse brains could reduce or eliminate FDG uptake. Measurement of FDG uptake in unilaterally adenectomized mice showed that the radioactive signal emitted from the intact Harderian gland distorts frontal brain region images. Spatial parametric measurement analysis demonstrated that the presence of the Harderian gland could prevent accurate assessment of brain PET imaging. Bilateral Harderian adenectomy efficiently eliminated unwanted radioactive signal spillover into the frontal brain region beginning on postoperative Day 10. Harderian adenectomy did not cause any post-operative complications during the experimental period. These findings demonstrate the benefits of performing a Harderian adenectomy prior to PET imaging of mouse brains.


adenectomy; Harderian gland; mouse; positron emission tomography; statistical parametric mapping
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