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Nuclear medicine and biology

Sigma receptor binding of tetrabenazine series tracers targeting VMAT2 in rat pancreas.


PMID 21982574

Abstract

The vesicular monoamine transporter type II (VMAT2) is highly expressed in pancreatic β-cells and thus has been proposed to be a potential target for measuring β-cell mass (BCM) by molecular imaging. Several tracers based on the TBZ backbone, including 9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine ([(18)F]AV-133), have shown some promising results as potential biomarkers for BCM despite a relatively high background signal in the pancreas. In the present study, we explore the background binding characteristics of [(18)F]AV-133 in rat pancreas. Pancreatic exocrine cells and islet cells were isolated and purified from Sprague-Dawley rats. Membrane homogenates, prepared from both pancreatic exocrine and islet cells as well as from brain striatum regions, were used for in vitro binding studies of [(18)F]AV-133 under a selective masking condition. 1,3-Di-o-tolylguanidine (DTG), displaying high and roughly equal affinity for both sigma-1 and sigma-2 receptors, was chosen at 5 μM concentration for the masking/blocking studies. [(18)F]AV-133 binding to rat striatum homogenates was not significantly altered by the presence of DTG. In contrast, [(18)F]AV-133 showed significant competition with DTG for binding sites in rat pancreatic exocrine homogenates as well as in rat islet cell homogenates. Importantly, in the presence of DTG, [(18)F]AV-133 showed a single high-affinity binding site on islet cell homogenates with a K(d) value of 3.8 nM which is consistent with the affinity reported previously for VMAT2 sites in rat pancreas. [(18)F]AV-133, in addition to a high-affinity VMAT2 binding site, binds with low affinity (but high capacity) to sigma components that are present in the rat pancreas. Identification of the cause of background binding of [(18)F]AV-133 to rat pancreatic tissue may lead to improved methods for quantification.