Preparation and Evaluation of 99mTc-labeled Tridentate Chelates for Pre-targeting Using Bioorthogonal Chemistry
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Pre-targeting combined with bioorthogonal chemistry is emerging as an effective way to create new radiopharmaceuticals. Of the methods available, the inverse electron demand Diels-Alder (IEDDA) cycloaddition between a radiolabeled tetrazines and trans-cyclooctene (TCO) linked to a biomolecule has proven to be a highly effective bioorthogonal approach to imaging specific biological targets. Despite the fact that technetium-99m remains the most widely used isotope in diagnostic nuclear medicine, there is a scarcity of methods for preparing 99mTc-labeled tetrazines. Herein we report the preparation of a family of tridentate-chelate-tetrazine derivatives and their Tc(I) complexes. These hitherto unknown compounds were radiolabeled with 99mTc using a microwave-assisted method in 31% to 83% radiochemical yield. The products are stable in saline and PBS and react rapidly with TCO derivatives in vitro. Their in vivo pre-targeting abilities were demonstrated using a TCO-bisphosphonate (TCO-BP) derivative that localizes to regions of active bone metabolism or injury. In murine studies, the 99mTc-tetrazines showed high activity concentrations in knees and shoulder joints, which was not observed when experiments were performed in the absence of TCO-BP. The overall uptake in non-target organs and pharmacokinetics varied greatly depending on the nature of the linker and polarity of the chelate.
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