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Oligonucleotides. 2008 Spring;18(1):33-49. doi: 10.1089/oli.2007.0104.

Biodistribution of 68Ga-labeled LNA-DNA mixmer antisense oligonucleotides for rat chromogranin-A.

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Uppsala Imanet, GE Healthcare, S-751 09 Uppsala, Sweden.


In vivo monitoring of gene expression may be accomplished using a most advanced imaging technology such as positron emission tomography (PET). However, a range of methodological and biological hurdles needs exploration. In the present study, 20-mer DNA-LNA (locked nucleic acid) mixmer oligonucleotides specific for rat Chromogranin-A (Chg-A) mRNA were labeled with 68Ga and their biodistribution were investigated in rats; namely, two Antisense (LNA1, LNA2--differing only in the positioning of LNA modification), Mismatched, and Sense sequences. In addition, in vivo and in vitro metabolite analysis of LNA1 and LNA2 was compared, and hybridization in solution was performed to verify the hybridization ability after labeling. Furthermore, semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction was carried out to find organs expressing Chg-A mRNA in the rat. The biodistribution patterns altered according to the sequence and the positioning of LNA modification. The pattern of Mismatched--differing only in two nucleotides from the two Antisenses--was similar to that of Sense, whereas the pattern of LNA1 and LNA2 showed differences. Uptake in the adrenal gland was twofold higher with LNA2 compared to the other three oligonucleotides. Intact LNA2 could be observed in the 60-minute sample in vivo, whereas in vitro, the intact compound of both Antisenses could also be detected after 2 hours. Hybridization in solution revealed that the two Antisenses retained their hybridization abilities after 68Ga-labeling. With decreasing magnitude, Chg-A mRNA was expressed in the adrenal gland, intestine, testis, and pancreas. This study further supported LNA-DNA mixmer to be a favorable modification for antisense targeting approach with respect to hybridization and longer plasma residence; however, the organ uptake was dominated by processes irrelevant to specific hybridization.

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