Sugar conjugation of biooactive peptides has been shown to be a powerful tool to modulate peptide pharmacokinetics. In the case of radiolabeled somatostatin analogues developed for in vivo scintigraphy of somatostatin receptor (sst) expressing tumors, it generally led to tracers with predominant renal excretion and low uptake in nontarget organs, and in some cases also with enhanced tumor accumulation. Especially with respect to endoradiotherapeutic applicability of these tracers, however, understanding the structural requirements for minimal kidney accumulation and maximal tumor uptake is important. The aim of this study was therefore the evaluation of the potential of specific glycoside structures in combination with reduced peptide net charge to reduce kidney accumulation without affecting tumor accumulation. Three glyco analogues of radioiodinated Tyr(3)-octreotate (TOCA) with z = 0 were evaluated in a comparative study using [(125)I]Mtr-TOCA (z = +1), the maltotriose-Amadori analogue of [(125)I]TOCA, as a reference, [(125)I]Glucuron-TOCA, the Amadori conjugate with glucuronic acid, and [(125)I]Gluc-S- and [(125)I]Gal-S-TOCA, the coupling products with glucosyl- and mannosyl-mercaptopropionate. In cells transfected with sst(1)-sst(5), all three new analogues show sst-subtype binding profiles similar to I-Mtr-TOCA with high, but somewhat reduced, affinity for sst(2). In contrast, internalization into sst(2)-expressing cells (in % of [(125)I]Tyr(3)-octreotide ([(125)I]TOC)) as well as the EC(50,R) of unlabeled TOC for internalization determined in dual-tracer experiments are substantially enhanced for [(123)I]Gal-S-TOCA and [(123)I]Gluc-S-TOCA (internalization, 190% +/- 12% and 265% +/- 20%, respectively, vs 168% +/- 6% of [(125)I]TOC for [(123)I]Mtr-TOCA; EC(50,R), 2.62 +/- 0.07 and 2.96 +/- 0.14, respectively, vs 1.81 +/- 0.07 for [(123)I]Mtr-TOCA). The tumor accumulation of [(125)I]Gal-S-TOCA and [(125)I]Gluc-S-TOCA in AR42J tumor-bearing nude mice 1 h p.i. is consequently very high (22.6 +/- 2.2 and 26.2 +/- 5.6%ID/g) and comparable to that of [(125)I]Mtr-TOCA (25.1 +/- 4.4%ID/g). [(125)I]Glucuron-TOCA showed lower uptake in sst-expressing tissues than did [(125)I]Mtr-TOCA, but considerably enhanced accumulation in nontarget organs such as liver, intestine, and kidney. Due to increased lipophilicity, hepatic and intestinal uptake 1 and 4 h p.i. of [(125)I]Gal-S-TOCA and [(125)I]Gluc-S-TOCA was also slightly higher than that of [(125)I]Mtr-TOCA. Kidney accumulation, however, was reduced by approximately 50% for both compounds (2.6 +/- 0.3 and 2.2 +/- 0.4, respectively, vs 4.0 +/- 0.7%ID/g at 1 h p.i.). Because no sugar-specific effect was detected in the latter case, it is concluded that general ligand pharmacokinetics and especially kidney accumulation of the tracers investigated are mainly determined by physicochemical characteristics such as lipophilicity, net charge, and also charge distribution ([(125)I]Glucuron-TOCA vs [(125)I]Gal-S- and [(125)I]Gluc-S-TOCA). With respect to receptor targeting, however, the structure of the carbohydrate moiety plays an important role, leading to dramatically enhanced ligand internalization, especially in the case of [(123)I]Gluc-S-TOCA. Taking into account the combined effects of the Gluc-S-moiety both on kidney and on tumor accumulation, this group seems to be a promising synthon for the synthesis of other radiolabeled peptide analogues with improved pharmacokinetics.