Development of PET tracers for investigation of arginase-related pathways

Gonçalo dos Santos Clemente

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    As arginase is a potential biomarker of disease and a novel therapeutic target, it was hypothesized that arginase inhibitors could be used as reference scaffolds for the development of molecular imaging probes. Using an optimized Cu-mediated 18F-fluorination strategy, radiolabeled arginase inhibitors were synthesized and evaluated in vivo for the first time. The best candidate ([18F]FBMARS) was obtained with a radiochemical yield of 4% ± 1% and a molar activity up to 72 GBq.µmol-1. Micro PET studies indicated fast blood clearance of the radiotracer (7.3 ± 0.6 min), arginase-mediated uptake, and a tumor accumulation peak nearly 40 minutes after intravenous administration. The successful synthesis of a radiolabeled arginase inhibitor opened new perspectives on the development of a customized molecular imaging "toolbox" to investigate the possibility of using statins to influence arginase/NOS signaling pathways. The synthesis of [18F]atorvastatin was first attempted using the Cu-mediated radiofluorination strategy. However, as atorvastatin was one of the most complex substrates labeled with this 18F-fluorodeboronation strategy to date, the final yields achieved were very modest (2%). The radiosynthesis was then improved (to >20%) via an optimized version of another newly developed late-stage radiofluorination strategy: the Ru-intermediated 18F-deoxyfluorination. PET imaging studies revealed an extensive liver uptake and did not identify any off-target accumulation site beyond hepatic tissue.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Elsinga, Philip, Supervisor
    • Dömling, Alex, Supervisor
    • Waarde, van, Aren, Co-supervisor
    • Farinha Antunes, Inês, Co-supervisor
    Award date25-Nov-2020
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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