Bifunctional chelators (BFCs) are covalently linked to biologically active targeting molecules and radiolabeled with radiometals. Technetium-99 m (99mTc) is the most widely used isotope in nuclear medicine because of its excellent physical properties. The objective of this study was to synthesize and characterize a novel BFC that allows for the labeling of antibodies and antibody fragments using the 99mTc(CO)3+ core which forms a very stable complex with 99mTc in the +1 oxidation sate. This study reports the synthesis of a BFC 1-pyrrolidinyl-2,5-dione-11-(bis((1-(carboxymethyl)-1H-imidazol-2-yl)methyl)amino)undecanoic acid (SAAC-CIM NHS ester), and the in vitro and in vivo evaluation of 99mTc(CO)3-SAAC-CIM-DLO6-(scFv)2 (99mTc(CO)3-DLO6-(scFv)2), a domain I/II-specific anti-epidermal growth factor receptor I (anti-EGFR) antibody fragment. The chelator allowed radiolabeling the (scFv)2 antibody fragment in very mild conditions with no significant decrease in binding to EGFR. Radiochemical yields of >50% (radiochemical purity > 95%) of the resulting anti-EGFR (scFv)2 immunoconjugate 99mTc(CO)3-DLO6-(scFv)2 was obtained. The radioimmunoconjugate was stable in histidine challenge experiments with less than 20% transchelation at 24 h after challenge in the presence of a 1500-fold excess of histidine. In vivo biodistribution of 99mTc(CO)3-DLO6-(scFv)2 indicates that the tracer was mainly cleared via renal excretion and to a lesser extent via the hepatobiliary pathway. The microSPECT imaging studies performed in mice confirmed the in vitro affinity results. The 99mTc(CO)3-DLO6-(scFv)2 shows some promising properties and warrants further investigation for imaging EGFR.
Keywords: (99m)Tc-tricarbonyl; Domain-specific imaging agent; EGFR; SPECT imaging.
Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.