Synthesis and evaluation of fluorine-18 labelled tetrazines as pre-targeting imaging agents for PET

Eva Schlein, Johanna Rokka, Luke R Odell, Sara Lopes van den Broek, Matthias M Herth, Umberto M Battisti, Stina Syvänen, Dag Sehlin, Jonas Eriksson*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


BACKGROUND: The brain is a challenging target for antibody-based positron emission tomography (immunoPET) imaging due to the restricted access of antibody-based ligands through the blood-brain barrier (BBB). To overcome this physiological obstacle, we have previously developed bispecific antibody ligands that pass through the BBB via receptor-mediated transcytosis. While these radiolabelled ligands have high affinity and specificity, their long residence time in the blood and brain, typical for large molecules, poses another challenge for PET imaging. A viable solution could be a two-step pre-targeting approach which involves the administration of a tagged antibody that accumulates at the target site in the brain and then clears from the blood, followed by administration of a small radiolabelled molecule with fast kinetics. This radiolabelled molecule can couple to the tagged antibody and thereby make the antibody localisation visible by PET imaging. The in vivo linkage can be achieved by using the inverse electron demand Diels-Alder reaction (IEDDA), with trans-cyclooctene (TCO) and tetrazine groups participating as reactants. In this study, two novel 18F-labelled tetrazines were synthesized and evaluated for their potential use as pre-targeting imaging agents, i.e., for their ability to rapidly enter the brain and, if unbound, to be efficiently cleared with minimal background retention.

RESULTS: The two compounds, a methyl tetrazine [18F]MeTz and an H-tetrazine [18F]HTz were radiolabelled using a two-step procedure via [18F]F-Py-TFP synthesized on solid support followed by amidation with amine-bearing tetrazines, resulting in radiochemical yields of 24% and 22%, respectively, and a radiochemical purity of > 96%. In vivo PET imaging was performed to assess their suitability for in vivo pre-targeting. Time-activity curves from PET-scans showed [18F]MeTz to be the more pharmacokinetically suitable agent, given its fast and homogenous distribution in the brain and rapid clearance. However, in terms of rection kinetics, H-tetrazines are advantageous, exhibiting faster reaction rates in IEDDA reactions with dienophiles like trans-cyclooctenes, making [18F]HTz potentially more beneficial for pre-targeting applications.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates a significant potential of [18F]MeTz and [18F]HTz as agents for pre-targeted PET brain imaging due to their efficient brain uptake, swift clearance and appropriate chemical stability.

TidsskriftEJNMMI radiopharmacy and chemistry
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)21
StatusUdgivet - 6 mar. 2024


Dyk ned i forskningsemnerne om 'Synthesis and evaluation of fluorine-18 labelled tetrazines as pre-targeting imaging agents for PET'. Sammen danner de et unikt fingeraftryk.