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Theranostics. 2016 Jun 18;6(10):1629-40. doi: 10.7150/thno.15253. eCollection 2016.

High-Resolution PET Imaging with Therapeutic Antibody-based PD-1/PD-L1 Checkpoint Tracers.

Author information

1
1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany.; 3. Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.
2
2. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany.; 3. Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.
3
2. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany.
4
4. Department of Internal Medicine I, Medical Center - University of Ulm, D-89081 Ulm, Germany.
5
1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany.; 5. German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), D-79106 Freiburg, Germany.; 6. German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Abstract

Checkpoint-blocking antibodies like those targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway have revolutionized oncology. We developed radiotracers based on therapeutic checkpoint-blocking antibodies permitting sensitive and high-resolution PET imaging of both PD-1 and PD-L1 in immunocompetent mice. ImmunoPET of naive mice revealed similar overall expression patterns for PD-1 and PD-L1 in secondary lymphoid organs (spleen and lymph nodes). Interestingly, PD-L1 was also detected in brown adipose tissue (BAT), confirming the notion that BAT is immunologically relevant. Under pathophysiological conditions, strong expression of the receptor/ligand pair was also found in non-lymphoid tissues. Both were specifically detected in malignant tumors. PD-1 was readily detected after combined immunoradiotherapy causing massive tumor infiltration by PD-1+ lymphocytes. PD-L1 tracer uptake was reduced in PD-L1 knockout tumors. Moreover, monitoring the expression changes of PD-L1 in response to its main inducer, the effector T cell cytokine IFN-γ, revealed robust upregulation in the lung. This suggests that T cell responses in the lung, a vital organ continuously exposed to a variety of antigens, are strongly restrained by the PD-1 checkpoint. In turn, this could explain the association of PD-1 checkpoint inhibition with potentially fatal immune-mediated pneumonitis and partially also its efficacy in lung cancer.

KEYWORDS:

PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint; PET; antibody imaging.; non-invasive imaging

PMID:
27446497
PMCID:
PMC4955062
DOI:
10.7150/thno.15253
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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