Selvaraju RK, Velikyan I, Asplund V, Johansson L, Wu Z, Todorov I, Shively J, Kandeel F, Eriksson B, Korsgren O, Eriksson O
Nucl. Med. Biol. 41 (6) 471-476 [2014-07-00; online 2014-03-29]
Insulinoma is the most common form of pancreatic endocrine tumors responsible for hyperinsulinism in adults. These tumors overexpress glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor, and biologically stable GLP-1 analogs have therefore been proposed as potential imaging agents. Here, we evaluate the potential of a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer, [(68)Ga]Ga-DO3A-VS-Cys(40)-Exendin-4, for imaging and quantification of GLP-1 receptors (GLP-1R) in insulinoma. [(68)Ga]Ga-DO3A-VS-Cys(40)-Exendin-4 was evaluated for binding to GLP-1R by in vitro autoradiography binding studies in INS-1 tumor from xenografts. In vivo biodistribution was investigated in healthy control mice, INS-1 xenografted and PANC1 xenografted immunodeficient mice at two different doses of peptide: 2.5μg/kg (baseline) and 100μg/kg (block). In vivo imaging of [(68)Ga]Ga-DO3A-VS-Cys(40)-Exendin-4 in xenografted mice was evaluated by small animal PET/CT using a direct comparison with the clinically established insulinoma marker [(11)C]5-hydroxy-tryptophan ([(11)C]5-HTP). GLP-1 receptor density could be quantified in INS-1 tumor biopsies. [(68)Ga]Ga-DO3A-VS-Cys(40)-Exendin-4 showed significant uptake (p≤0.05) in GLP1-R positive tissues such as INS-1 tumor, lungs and pancreas upon comparison between baseline and blocking studies. In vivo imaging showed concordant results with higher tumor-to-muscle ratio in INS-1 xenografted mice compared with [(11)C]5-HTP. [(68)Ga]Ga-DO3A-VS-Cys(40)-Exendin-4 has high affinity and specificity for GLP-1R expressed on insulinoma in vitro and in vivo.