Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Nucl Med. 2006 Dec;47(12):2025-33.

[Lys40(Ahx-DTPA-111In)NH2]exendin-4, a very promising ligand for glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor targeting.

Author information

Clinic and Institute of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


High levels of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor expression in human insulinomas and gastrinomas provide an attractive target for imaging, therapy, and intraoperative tumor localization, using receptor-avid radioligands. The goal of this study was to establish a tumor model for GLP-1 receptor targeting and to use a newly designed exendin-4-DTPA (DTPA is diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid) conjugate for GLP-1 receptor targeting.


Exendin-4 was modified C-terminally with Lys(40)-NH(2), whereby the lysine side chain was conjugated with Ahx-DTPA (Ahx is aminohexanoic acid). The GLP-1 receptor affinity (50% inhibitory concentration [IC(50)] value) of [Lys(40)(Ahx-DTPA)NH(2)]exendin-4 as well as the GLP-1 receptor density in tumors and different organs of Rip1Tag2 mice were determined. Rip1Tag2 mice are transgenic mice that develop insulinomas in a well-defined multistage tumorigenesis pathway. This animal model was used for biodistribution studies, pinhole SPECT/MRI, and SPECT/CT. Peptide stability, internalization, and efflux studies were performed in cultured beta-tumor cells established from tumors of Rip1Tag2 mice.


The GLP-1 receptor affinity of [Lys(40)(Ahx-DTPA)NH(2)]exendin-4 was found to be 2.1 +/- 1.1 nmol/L (mean +/- SEM). Because the GLP-1 receptor density in tumors of Rip1Tag2 mice was very high, a remarkably high tumor uptake of 287 +/- 62 %IA/g (% injected activity per gram tissue) was found 4 h after injection. This resulted in excellent tumor visualization by pinhole SPECT/MRI and SPECT/CT. In accordance with in vitro data, [Lys(40)(Ahx-DTPA-(111)In)NH(2)]exendin-4 uptake in Rip1Tag2 mice was also found in nonneoplastic tissues such as pancreas and lung. However, lung and pancreas uptake was distinctly lower compared with that of tumors, resulting in a tumor-to-pancreas ratio of 13.6 and in a tumor-to-lung ratio of 4.4 at 4 h after injection. Furthermore, in vitro studies in cultured beta-tumor cells demonstrated a specific internalization of [Lys(40)(Ahx-DTPA-(111)In)NH(2)]exendin-4, whereas peptide stability studies indicated a high metabolic stability of the radiopeptide in beta-tumor cells and human blood serum.


The high density of GLP-1 receptors in insulinomas as well as the high specific uptake of [Lys(40)(Ahx-DTPA-(111)In)NH(2)]exendin-4 in the tumor of Rip1Tag2 mice indicate that targeting of GLP-1 receptors in insulinomas may become a useful imaging method to localize insulinomas in patients, either preoperatively or intraoperatively. In addition, Rip1Tag2 transgenic mice represent a suitable animal tumor model for GLP-1 receptor targeting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center