Cardiac retention of PET neuronal imaging agent LMI1195 in different species: impact of norepinephrine uptake-1 and -2 transporters

Ming Yu, Jody Bozek, Mikhail Kagan, Mary Guaraldi, Paula Silva, Michael Azure, David Onthank, Simon P Robinson
Nuclear Medicine and Biology 2013, 40 (5): 682-8

INTRODUCTION: Released sympathetic neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) in the heart is cleared by neuronal uptake-1 and extraneuronal uptake-2 transporters. Cardiac uptake-1 and -2 expression varies among species, but the uptake-1 is the primary transporter in humans. LMI1195 is an NE analog labeled with (18)F for PET evaluation of cardiac neuronal function. This study investigated the impact of cardiac neuronal uptake-1 associated with different species on LMI1195 heart uptake.

METHODS: Cardiac uptake-1 was blocked by desipramine, a selective uptake-1 inhibitor, and sympathetic neuronal denervation was induced by 6-hydroxydopamine, a neurotoxin, in rats, rabbits and nonhuman primates (NHP). Tissue biodistribution and cardiac imaging of LMI1195 and (123)I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) were performed.

RESULTS: In rats, uptake-1 blockade did not alter LMI1195 heart uptake compared to the control at 60-min post injection [1.41 ± 0.07 vs. 1.47 ± 0.23 % injected dose per gram tissue (%ID/g)]. In contrast, LMI1195 heart uptake was reduced by 80% in uptake-1 blocked rabbits. In sympathetically denervated rats, LMI1195 heart uptake was similar to the control (2.18 ± 0.40 vs. 2.58 ± 0.76 %ID/g). However, the uptake decreased by 79% in denervated rabbits. Similar results were found in MIBG heart uptake in rats and rabbits with uptake-1 blockade. Consistently, LMI1195 cardiac imaging showed comparable myocardial activity in uptake-1 blocked or sympathetically denervated rats to the control, but marked activity reduction in uptake-1 blocked or denervated rabbits and NHPs.

CONCLUSIONS: LMI1195 is retained in the heart of rabbits and NHPs primarily via the neuronal uptake-1 with high selectivity and can be used for evaluation of cardiac sympathetic denervation. Similar to the human, the neuronal uptake-1 is the dominant transporter for cardiac retention of NE analogs in rabbits and NHPs, but not in rats.

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