Comparison of 125I- and 111In-labeled peptide probes for in vivo detection of oxidized low-density lipoprotein in atherosclerotic plaques
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Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL) plays a pivotal role in atherosclerotic plaque destabilization, which suggests its potential as a nuclear medical imaging target. We previously developed radioiodinated 125I-AHP7, a peptide probe carrying a 7-residue sequence from the OxLDL-binding protein Asp-hemolysin, for specific OxLDL imaging. Although 125I-AHP7 recognized OxLDL, it had low stability. Thus, to improve stability, we designed radiolabeled 22-residue peptide probes, 125I-AHP22 and 111In-AHP22, which include the entire AHP7 sequence, and evaluated the stability, activity, and applications of these probes in vitro and in vivo.
Probes consisting of a 21-residue peptide derived from the Asp-hemolysin sequence and an N-terminal Cys or aminohexanoic acid for labeling with 125I-N-(3-iodophenyl)maleimide or 111In diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid were termed 125I-AHP22 and 111In-AHP22. An in vitro-binding inhibition assay with OxLDL was performed using 125I-AHP7 as a radiotracer. Radioactivity accumulation in the atherosclerotic aorta and plasma intact fraction was evaluated 30 min after intravenous administration of probes in myocardial infarction-prone Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHLMI) rabbits.
125I-AHP22 and 111In-AHP22 were synthesized in ~ 360 and 60 min, respectively, with > 98% radiochemical purities after RP-HPLC purification. An in vitro-binding assay revealed similar or greater inhibition of OxLDL binding by both In-AHP22 and I-AHP22 compared to I-AHP7. The fraction of intact 125I-AHP22 and 111In-AHP22 in plasma was estimated to be approximately tenfold higher than that of 125I-AHP7. Both probes were rapidly cleared from the blood. 111In-AHP22 had a 2.3-fold higher accumulation in WHHLMI rabbit aortas compared to control rabbits, which was similar to 125I-AHP7. However, 125I-AHP22 accumulated to similar levels in aortas of WHHLMI and control rabbits due to high nonspecific accumulation in normal aortas that could be due to high lipophilicity.
111In-AHP22, easily prepared within 1 h, showed moderate affinity for OxLDL, high stability in vivo, and high accumulation in atherosclerotic aortas. 111In-AHP22 could be a potential lead compound to develop future effective OxLDL imaging probes.
KeywordsAtherosclerosis Oxidized low-density lipoprotein Peptide Nuclear medical imaging WHHLMI rabbit
This work was partly supported by a Health and Labour Science Research Grant “Research on Noninvasive and Minimally Invasive Medical Devices” from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, and by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
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Conflict of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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