Due to the central role hormones play in the control of numerous pathways and processes, endocrinology is a key aspect of research into a range of disorders. These include hormone imbalances such as hyperaldosteronism, endocrine cancers such as thyroid cancer, and hormonally-regulated cancers such as prostate cancer. In addition, metabolic-endocrine complications can arise secondary to other disorders, including in HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, obesity.
Imaging in preclinical models is a valuable key tool for elucidating the basic mechanisms underlying endocrine disorders and identifying mutations predictive of therapeutic response or disease progression. In addition, it plays an important role in identifying and testing novel therapeutic targets.
Although a wide range of imaging techniques are used in endocrine research, spectrometry remains the primary analytical platform of an endocrinology laboratory as it provides the greatest sensitivity for identifying, characterizing, and quantifying organic species. It is complemented with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for structural elucidation and positron emission tomography (PET) for functional evaluation.
Bruker have developed a range of imaging systems to facilitate preclinical imaging in endocrinological research. The EVOQ Elite liquid chromatography mass spectrometer provides sustained high sensitivity detection of endocrines with high-throughput, whilst the the Bruker AVANCE range provides cutting-edge NMR performance. Additionally, the Albira preclinical micro-PET system enables full-body mice PET scans, suitable for endocrinology studies.