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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2017 Mar;37(3):1095-1107. doi: 10.1177/0271678X16650697. Epub 2016 Jul 20.

Determination of receptor occupancy in the presence of mass dose: [11C]GSK189254 PET imaging of histamine H3 receptor occupancy by PF-03654746.

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1 Yale PET Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
2 Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, Cambridge, MA, USA.


Measurements of drug occupancies using positron emission tomography (PET) can be biased if the radioligand concentration exceeds "tracer" levels. Negative bias would also arise in successive PET scans if clearance of the radioligand is slow, resulting in a carryover effect. We developed a method to (1) estimate the in vivo dissociation constant Kd of a radioligand from PET studies displaying a non-tracer carryover (NTCO) effect and (2) correct the NTCO bias in occupancy studies taking into account the plasma concentration of the radioligand and its in vivo Kd. This method was applied in a study of healthy human subjects with the histamine H3 receptor radioligand [11C]GSK189254 to measure the PK-occupancy relationship of the H3 antagonist PF-03654746. From three test/retest studies, [11C]GSK189254 Kd was estimated to be 9.5 ± 5.9 pM. Oral administration of 0.1 to 4 mg of PF-03654746 resulted in occupancy estimates of 71%-97% and 30%-93% at 3 and 24 h post-drug, respectively. NTCO correction adjusted the occupancy estimates by 0%-15%. Analysis of the relationship between corrected occupancies and PF-03654746 plasma levels indicated that PF-03654746 can fully occupy H3 binding sites ( ROmax = 100%), and its IC50 was estimated to be 0.144 ± 0.010 ng/mL. The uncorrected IC50 was 26% higher.


Mathematical modeling; kinetic modeling; pharmacokinetics; positron emission tomography; receptor imaging

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