A Novel pH-Sensitive MRI Contrast Agent

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 1999 Nov 2;38(21):3192-3194.


A tetrasubstituted derivative of 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane with amide coordinating groups and extended noncoordinating phosphonate groups forms a complex with gadolinium(III) (shown in the picture) which contains one slowly exchanging inner-sphere water molecule (tau(M)=21 µs). The 20-MHz water proton relaxivity of the complex was found to be highly pH dependent. Protonation of the noncoordinating phosphonate groups appears to catalyze prototropic exchange of the bound water protons, thereby providing a mechanism for enhanced water contrast below pH 7.