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Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2019 Jul 24. doi: 10.1007/s00259-019-04426-0. [Epub ahead of print]

Engineered antibodies: new possibilities for brain PET?

Author information

1
Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences/Geriatrics, Uppsala University, Rudbeck Laboratory, 75185, Uppsala, Sweden.
2
Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences/Geriatrics, Uppsala University, Rudbeck Laboratory, 75185, Uppsala, Sweden. stina.syvanen@pubcare.uu.se.

Abstract

Almost 50 million people worldwide are affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common neurodegenerative disorder. Development of disease-modifying therapies would benefit from reliable, non-invasive positron emission tomography (PET) biomarkers for early diagnosis, monitoring of disease progression, and assessment of therapeutic effects. Traditionally, PET ligands have been based on small molecules that, with the right properties, can penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and visualize targets in the brain. Recently a new class of PET ligands based on antibodies have emerged, mainly in applications related to cancer. While antibodies have advantages such as high specificity and affinity, their passage across the BBB is limited. Thus, to be used as brain PET ligands, antibodies need to be modified for active transport into the brain. Here, we review the development of radioligands based on antibodies for visualization of intrabrain targets. We focus on antibodies modified into a bispecific format, with the capacity to undergo transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1)-mediated transcytosis to enter the brain and access pathological proteins, e.g. amyloid-beta. A number of such antibody ligands have been developed, displaying differences in brain uptake, pharmacokinetics, and ability to bind and visualize the target in the brain of transgenic mice. Potential pathological changes related to neurodegeneration, e.g. misfolded proteins and neuroinflammation, are suggested as future targets for this novel type of radioligand. Challenges are also discussed, such as the temporal match of radionuclide half-life with the ligand's pharmacokinetic profile and translation to human use. In conclusion, brain PET imaging using bispecific antibodies, modified for receptor-mediated transcytosis across the BBB, is a promising method for specifically visualizing molecules in the brain that are difficult to target with traditional small molecule ligands.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer’s disease (AD); Amyloid-β (Aβ); Antibody; Blood–brain barrier (BBB); Positron emission tomography (PET); Transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1)-mediated transcytosis

PMID:
31342134
DOI:
10.1007/s00259-019-04426-0
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