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The water-soluble vitamin biotin is essential for cellular growth, development, and well-being, but its absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion are poorly understood. This paper describes the radiolabeling of biotin with the positron emission tomography (PET) radionuclide carbon-11 ([11C]biotin) to enable the quantitative study of biotin trafficking in vivo. We show that intravenously administered [11C]biotin is quickly distributed to the liver, kidneys, retina, heart, and brain in rodents - consistent with the known expression of the biotin transporter - and there is a surprising accumulation in the brown adipose tissue (BAT). Orally administered [11C]biotin was rapidly absorbed in the small intestine and swiftly distributed to the same organs. Preadministration of nonradioactive biotin inhibited organ uptake and increased excretion. [11C]Biotin PET imaging therefore provides a dynamic in vivo map of transporter-mediated biotin trafficking in healthy rodents. This technique will enable the exploration of biotin trafficking in humans and its use as a research tool for diagnostic imaging of obesity/diabetes, bacterial infection, and cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8265-8275
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2020


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