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Eur J Pharm Sci. 2005 Sep;26(1):26-38.

Biodistribution of 68Ga-labelled phosphodiester, phosphorothioate, and 2'-O-methyl phosphodiester oligonucleotides in normal rats.

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  • 1Uppsala Imanet, S-751 09 Uppsala, PO Box 967, Sweden. gabor.lendvai@uppsala.imanet.se


Antisense oligonucleotides may hybridise with high selectivity to mRNA sequences allowing monitoring of gene expression or inhibition of the manifestation of altered genes inducing diseases. As part of the development of positron emission tomography methods, 17-mer antisense phosphodiester (PO), phosphorothioate (PS) and 2'-O-methyl phosphodiester (OMe) oligonucleotides specific for point mutationally activated human K-ras oncogene were labelled with 68Ga radionuclide via a chelator coupled to the probe. Hybridisation in solution and non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) with a subsequent exposure of the gels was performed to verify the hybridisation ability after labelling. The biodistribution was studied in male Sprague-Dawley rats by injecting 2MBq of 68Ga-oligonucleotides via the tail vein and measuring the organ radioactivity concentration after 20, 60 and 120 min or using whole-body autoradiography with 10 MBq 68Ga-oligonucleotide and 20 min incubation time. Control experiments were performed with 68GaCl3 and 68Ga-chelator complex. The results revealed that 68Ga-labelling did not change the hybridisation abilities of the oligonucleotides. The biodistribution pattern depended on the nature of the oligonucleotide backbone. Bone marrow, kidney, liver, spleen and urinary bladder were the five organs of highest uptake with each oligonucleotide. The PO accumulated highly in the liver, whereas high kidney uptake dominated the PS and OMe patterns. Intact PS and OMe were detected in plasma samples taken 20 and 60 min after injection. This study supplies a base for the further development of 68Ga-labelled oligonucleotides as pharmacokinetic tools and a potential future use for in vivo imaging of gene expression.

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