Synthesis and preclinical evaluation of the CRTH2 antagonist [11C]MK-7246 as a novel PET tracer and potential surrogate marker for pancreatic beta-cell mass.

Eriksson J, Roy T, Sawadjoon S, Bachmann K, Sköld C, Larhed M, Weis J, Selvaraju RK, Korsgren O, Eriksson O, Odell LR

Nucl. Med. Biol. 71 (-) 1-10 [2019-04-00; online 2019-04-13]

MK-7246 is a potent and selective antagonist for chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells (CRTH2). Within the pancreas CRTH2 is selectively expressed in pancreatic β-cells where it is believed to play a role in insulin release. Reduction in β-cell mass and insufficient insulin secretion in response to elevated blood glucose levels is a hallmark for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Reported here is the synthesis of [11C]MK-7246 and initial preclinical evaluation towards CRTH2 imaging. The aim is to develop a method to quantify β-cell mass with PET and facilitate non-invasive studies of disease progression in individuals with type 2 diabetes. The precursor N-desmethyl-O-methyl MK-7246 was synthesized in seven steps and subjected to methylation with [11C]methyl iodide followed by hydrolysis to obtain [11C]MK-7246 labelled in the N-methyl position. Preclinical evaluation included in vitro radiography and immune-staining performed in human pancreatic biopsies. Biodistribution studies were performed in rat by PET-MRI and in pig by PET-CT imaging. Saturable tracer binding was examined in pig by scanning before and after administration of MK-7246 (1 mg/kg). Predicted dosimetry of [11C]MK-7246 in human males was estimated based on the biodistribution in rat. [11C]MK-7246 was obtained with activities sufficient for the current investigations (270 ± 120 MBq) and a radiochemical purity of 93 ± 2%. The tracer displayed focal binding in areas with insulin positive islet of Langerhans in human pancreas sections. Baseline uptake in pig was reduced in tissues with known expression of CRTH2 after administration of MK-7246; pancreas (66% reduction) and spleen (88% reduction). [11C]MK-7246 exhibited a safe human predicted dosimetry profile as extrapolated from the rat biodistribution data. Initial preclinical in vitro and in vivo evaluations of [11C]MK-7246 show binding and biodistribution properties suitable for PET imaging of CRTH2. Further studies are warranted to assess its potential in β-cell mass imaging and CRTH2 drug development.

Olof Eriksson

SciLifeLab Fellow

PubMed 31082767

DOI 10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2019.04.002

Crossref 10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2019.04.002

pii: S0969-8051(18)30355-X

Publications 9.5.0