The development of technetium-99m-labelled interleukin-2: a new radiopharmaceutical for the in vivo detection of mononuclear cell infiltrates in immune-mediated diseases

Nucl Med Biol. 1997 Aug;24(6):579-86. doi: 10.1016/s0969-8051(97)00021-8.


We describe here a new method for labelling interleukin-2 (IL-2) in high specific activity with 99mTc for in vivo studies in man. Labelling was performed via a two-step reaction using an N3S bifunctional chelating agent. To optimise the reaction, factors affecting the incorporation of 99mTc into the N3S ligand were studied. The conjugation of the preformed N3S chelate ligand to IL-2 was then similarly optimised. Various strategies for purifying the 99mTc-IL-2 were explored including size-exclusion, ion-exchange, and several modes of reversed-phase chromatography. The radiochemical purity of the purified protein was determined by HPLC, ITLC, TCA precipitation, and SDS-PAGE. The receptor binding capacity of 99mTc-IL-2 was studied. Biodistribution studies in normal mice were performed with 99mTc-IL-2 purified using different techniques or labelled after prolonged storage and compared to 125I-IL-2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2* / metabolism
  • Isotope Labeling*
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Technetium*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Interleukin-2
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Technetium