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Correlation between 18F-FDG uptake and the expression of glucose transporter-1 and hypoxia-inducible factor-1 in transplanted VX2 tumors

Xu, Huiqina; Li, Biaod; Yu, Wenjinga; Wang, Huia; Zhao, Xuefenga; Yao, Yuanchunc; Huang, Dakeb

Nuclear Medicine Communications: October 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 10 - p 953–958
doi: 10.1097/MNM.0b013e328364a9e2
Original Articles

Objective: We investigated the correlation between fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) uptake and glucose transporter-1 (GLUT-1) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) expression in a rabbit lung VX2 tumor model.

Materials and methods: Twenty-four VX2 tumor-bearing rabbits underwent 18F-FDG PET/computed tomography (CT) at 4, 5, 6, and 7 weeks after implantation. PET/CT images were obtained to monitor the tumor/normal tissue (T/N) ratio in each period. Six rabbits were randomly killed after PET/CT, and immunohistochemical staining was used to assess GLUT-1 and HIF-1α expression. We investigated the correlations of 18F-FDG uptake with GLUT-1 and HIF-1α expression and the pathological tumor (p-tumor) size as well as those of the lymph node metastasis (p-N) stage with the T/N ratio, p-tumor size, and GLUT-1 and HIF-1α expression.

Results: The T/N ratio increased gradually over time before subsequently decreasing. The T/N ratio was significantly influenced by time (F=54.63, P<0.05) and was significantly correlated with GLUT-1 (r=0.53, P<0.01) and HIF-1α (r=0.44, P<0.01) expression and p-tumor size (r=0.58, P<0.05). A significant positive correlation between GLUT-1 expression and HIF-1α expression was also identified (r=0.58, P<0.05). The p-N stage showed a significant association with the T/N ratio (P<0.05) but not with GLUT-1/HIF-1α expression (P>0.05).

Conclusion: 18F-FDG uptake is closely correlated with GLUT-1 and HIF-1α expression, tumor size, and lymph node metastasis.

Departments of aNuclear Medicine

bPathology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University

cDepartment of Pathology, Anhui Medical University, Hefei

dDepartment of Nuclear Medicine, Shanghai Ruijin Hospital, the Affiliated Hospital of Shanghai Jiaotong Medical University, Shanghai, China

Correspondence to Biao Li, PhD, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Shanghai Ruijin Hospital, the Affiliated Hospital of Shanghai Jiaotong Medical University, 197 the Second Ruijin Road, Shanghai 200032, China Tel: +86 138 055 16109; fax: +86 216 433 3548; e-mail:

Received March 5, 2013

Accepted June 28, 2013

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins