[68Ga]Ga-THP-Tetrazine for bioorthogonal click radiolabelling: Pretargeted PET imaging of liposomal nanomedicines

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Pretargeted PET imaging using bioorthogonal chemistry is a leading strategy for the tracking of long-circulating agents such as antibodies and nanoparticle-drug delivery systems with short-lived isotopes. Here, we report the synthesis, characterisation and in vitro/vivo evaluation of a new 68Ga-based radiotracer [68Ga]Ga-THP-Tetrazine ([68Ga]Ga-THP-Tz) for bioorthogonal click radiochemistry and in vivo labelling of agents with slow pharmacokinetics. THP-tetrazine (THP-Tz) can be radiolabelled to give [68/67Ga]Ga-THP-Tz at room temperature in less than 15 minutes with excellent radiochemical stability in vitro and in vivo. [68Ga]Ga-THP-Tz was tested in vitro and in vivo for pretargeted imaging of stealth PEGylated liposomes, chosen as a leading clinically-approved platform of nanoparticle-based drug delivery, and for their known long-circulating properties. To achieve this, PEGylated liposomes were functionalised with a synthesised transcyclooctene (TCO) modified phospholipid. Radiolabelling of TCO-PEG-liposomes with [68/67Ga]Ga-THP-Tz was demonstrated in vitro in human serum, and in vivo using both healthy mice and in a syngeneic cancer murine model (WEHI-164 fibrosarcoma). Interestingly in vivo data revealed that [68Ga]Ga-THP-Tz was able to in vivo radiolabel liposomes present in the liver and spleen, and not those in the blood pool or in the tumour. Overall, these results demonstrate the potential of [68Ga]Ga-THP-Tz for pretargeted imaging/therapy but also some unexpected limitations of this system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRSC Chemical Biology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 May 2024


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