Preclinical evaluation of PAC1 targeting with radiolabeled Maxadilan.

L. Joosten, M. Brom, M. Schäfer, O. Boerman, E. Weihe and M. Gotthardt




There is an ongoing search for new tracers to optimize imaging of beta cell-derived tumors (insulinomas). The PAC1 receptor, expressed by insulinomas, can be used for targeting of these tumors. Here, we investigated whether radiolabeled maxadilan could be used for insulinoma imaging. Maxadilan was C- or N-terminally conjugated with DTPA (termed maxadilan-DPTA or DTPA-maxadilan respectively). BALB/c nude mice bearing subcutaneous INS-1 tumors were injected with either In-111-labeled maxadilan-DTPA or In-111-DTPA-maxadilan. Biodistribution studies were carried out at 1, 2 and 4 hours after injection and SPECT/CT imaging 1 and 4 hours after injection of maxadilan-DTPA-(111)In. Radiolabeling of maxadilan-DTPA (680 MBq/nmol) was more efficient than of DTPA-maxadilan (55 MBq/nmol). Conjugation with DTPA slightly reduced receptor binding affinity in vitro: IC50 values were 3.2, 21.0 and 21.0 nM for maxadilan, (nat)In-DTPA-maxadilan and maxadilan-DTPA-(nat)In respectively. Upon i.v. injection maxadilan-DTPA-(111)In accumulated specifically in INS-1 tumors (7.30 ± 1.87%ID/g) and in the pancreas (3.82 ± 0.22%ID/g). INS-1 tumors were clearly visualized by small animal SPECT/CT. In conclusion, this study showed that the high affinity of maxadilan to the PAC1 receptor was maintained after DTPA conjugation. Furthermore, radiolabeled maxadilan-DTPA accumulated specifically in INS-1 tumors and, therefore, may qualify as a useful tracer to image insulinomas.