JDIT 2015 0301 014.pdf

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Journal of Diagnostic Imaging in Therapy. 2015; 2(1): 30-102


Open Medscience

Peer-Reviewed Open Access

Journal homepage: www.openmedscience.com

Review Article

Roles of facilitative glucose transporter GLUT1 in [18F]FDG
positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of human diseases
Simon G. Patching1,*

University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed: s.g.patching@leeds.ac.uk

The facilitative glucose transport protein GLUT1 has important roles in positron emission tomography
(PET) imaging of human diseases. GLUT1 has widespread expression and catalyses the energyindependent facilitated diffusion of glucose down its concentration gradient across red blood cell
membranes, blood-brain and blood-tissue barriers and membranes of some oragnelles. Import is
usually the prevailing direction of transport for providing metabolic fuel, especially in proliferating
cells. PET imaging using 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) measures the uptake of
[18F]FDG into cells and tissues as a marker of glucose transport and glycolytic activity. Diseases can
alter glycolytic activity in localised regions of tissues or organs, which can be visualised using
[18F]FDG PET. Expression and/or activity levels of GLUT1 contribute to the pattern and intensity of
[18F]FDG. [18F]FDG PET imaging is used in diagnosing and monitoring a range of human diseases
and in analysing their response to treatments. Proliferating cancer cells display overexpression of
GLUT1 and a vastly higher rate of glycolysis for satisfying their increased nutrient demands.
Tumours therefore have significantly enhanced [18F]FDG uptake compared with normal cells, so
[18F]FDG PET is routinely used in diagnosing and monitoring cancers. [18F]FDG PET imaging of the
brain allows identification of distinct patterns of hypometabolism and/or hypermetabolism associated
with neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilespsy,
ISSN: 2057-3782 (Online)