All Publications

  • Radiosynthesis and initial preclinical evaluation of [11C]AZD1283 as a potential P2Y12R PET radiotracer. Nuclear medicine and biology Jackson, I. M., Buccino, P. J., Azevedo, E. C., Carlson, M. L., Luo, A. S., Deal, E. M., Kalita, M., Reyes, S. T., Shao, X., Beinat, C., Nagy, S. C., Chaney, A. M., Anders, D. A., Scott, P. J., Smith, M., Shen, B., James, M. L. 2022


    INTRO: Chronic neuroinflammation and microglial dysfunction are key features of many neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's Disease and multiple sclerosis. While there is unfortunately a dearth of highly selective molecular imaging biomarkers/probes for studying microglia in vivo, P2Y12R has emerged as an attractive candidate PET biomarker being explored for this purpose. Importantly, P2Y12R is selectively expressed on microglia in the CNS and undergoes dynamic changes in expression according to inflammatory context (e.g., toxic versus beneficial/healing states), thus having the potential to reveal functional information about microglia in living subjects. Herein, we identified a high affinity, small molecule P2Y12R antagonist (AZD1283) to radiolabel and assess as a candidate radiotracer through in vitro assays and in vivo positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of both wild-type and total knockout mice and a non-human primate.METHODS: First, we evaluated the metabolic stability and passive permeability of non-radioactive AZD1283 in vitro. Next, we radiolabeled [11C]AZD1283 with radioactive precursor [11C]NH4CN and determined stability in formulation and human plasma. Finally, we investigated the in vivo stability and kinetics of [11C]AZD1283 via dynamic PET imaging of naive wild-type mice, P2Y12R knockout mouse, and a rhesus macaque.RESULTS: We determined the half-life of AZD1283 in mouse and human liver microsomes to be 37 and>160min, respectively, and predicted passive CNS uptake with a small amount of active efflux, using a Caco-2 assay. Our radiolabeling efforts afforded [11C]AZD1283 in an activity of 12.69±10.64mCi with high chemical and radiochemical purity (>99%) and molar activity of 1142.84±504.73mCi/mumol (average of n=3). Of note, we found [11C]AZD1283 to be highly stable in vitro, with >99% intact tracer present after 90min of incubation in formulation and 60min of incubation in human serum. PET imaging revealed negligible brain signal in healthy wild-type mice (n=3) and a P2Y12 knockout mouse (0.55±0.37%ID/g at 5min post injection). Strikingly, high signal was detected in the liver of all mice within the first 20min of administration (peak uptake=58.28±18.75%ID/g at 5min post injection) and persisted for the remaining duration of the scan. Ex vivo gamma counting of mouse tissues at 60min post-injection mirrored in vivo data with a mean %ID/g of 0.9%±0.40, 0.02%±0.01, and 106±29.70% in the blood, brain, and liver, respectively (n=4). High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of murine blood and liver metabolite samples revealed a single radioactive peak (relative area under peak: 100%), representing intact tracer. Finally, PET imaging of a rhesus macaque also revealed negligible CNS uptake/binding in monkey brain (peak uptake=0.37 Standard Uptake Values (SUV)).CONCLUSION: Despite our initial encouraging liver microsome and Caco-2 monolayer data, in addition to the observed high stability of [11C]AZD1283 in formulation and human serum, in vivo brain uptake was negligible and rapid accumulation was observed in the liver of both naive wildtype and P2Y12R knockout mice. Liver signal appeared to be independent of both metabolism and P2Y12R expression due to the confirmation of intact tracer in this tissue for both wildtype and P2Y12R knockout mice. In Rhesus Macaque, negligible uptake of [11C]AZD1283 brain indicates a lack of potential for translation or its further investigation in vivo. P2Y12R is an extremely promising potential PET biomarker, and the data presented here suggests encouraging metabolic stability for this scaffold; however, the mechanism of liver uptake in mice should be elucidated prior to further analogue development.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2022.05.001

    View details for PubMedID 35680502

  • Synthesis and Characterization of 9-(4-[18F]Fluoro-3-(hydroxymethyl)butyl)-2-(phenylthio)-6-oxopurine as a Novel PET Agent for Mutant Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Thymidine Kinase Reporter Gene Imaging. Molecular imaging and biology Fuchigami, T., Haywood, T., Gowrishankar, G., Anders, D., Namavari, M., Wardak, M., Gambhir, S. S. 2020


    PURPOSE: [18F]FHBG has been used as a positron emission tomography (PET) imaging tracer for the monitoring of herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase (HSV1-tk), a reporter gene for cell and gene therapy in humans. However, this tracer shows inadequate blood-brain barrier (BBB) penetration and, therefore, would be limited for accurate quantification of reporter gene expression in the brain. Here, we report the synthesis and evaluation of 9-(4-[18F]fluoro-3-(hydroxymethyl)butyl)-2(phenylthio)-6-oxopurine ([18F]FHBT) as a new PET tracer for imaging reporter gene expression of HSV1-tk and its mutant HSV1-sr39tk, with the aim of improved BBB penetration.PROCEDURES: [18F]FHBT was prepared by using a tosylate precursor and [18F]KF. The cellular uptake of [18F]FHBT was performed in HSV1-sr39tk-positive (+) or HSV1-sr39tk-negative (-) MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. The specificity of [18F]FHBT to assess HSV1-sr39tk expression was evaluated by in vitro blocking studies using 1mM of ganciclovir (GCV). Penetration of [18F]FHBT and [18F]FHBG across the BBB was assessed by dynamic PET imaging studies in normal mice.RESULTS: The tosylate precursor reacted with [18F]KF using Kryptofix2.2.2 followed by deprotection to give [18F]FHBT in 10% radiochemical yield (decay-corrected). The uptake of [18F]FHBT in HSV1-sr39tk (+) cells was significantly higher than that of HSV1-sr39tk (-) cells. In the presence of GCV (1mM), the uptake of [18F]FHBT was significantly decreased, indicating that [18F]FHBT serves as a selective substrate of HSV1-sr39TK. PET images and time-activity curves of [18F]FHBT in the brain regions showed similar initial brain uptakes (~12.75min) as [18F]FHBG (P>0.855). Slower washout of [18F]FHBT was observed at the later time points (17.75 - 57.75 min, P >0.207).CONCLUSIONS: Although [18F]FHBT showed no statistically significant improvement of BBB permeability compared with [18F]FHBG, we have demonstrated that the 2-(phenylthio)-6-oxopurine backbone can serve as a novel scaffold for developing HSV1-tk/HSV1-sr39tk reporter gene imaging agents for additional research in the future.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-020-01517-5

    View details for PubMedID 32691392

  • Synthesis and validation of [F-18]6 ''-fluromaltotriose, a radiotracer for imaging bacterial infections Haywood, T., Namavari, M., Anders, D., Gambhir, S. WILEY. 2019: S315–S316
  • Synthesis and characterization of 9-(4fluoro-3-(hydroxymethyl)butyl)-2-(phenylthio)6-oxopurine ([F-18]FHBT) as a PET tracer for HSV1-tk reporter gene imaging Fuchigami, T., Haywood, T., Gowrishankar, G., Anders, D., Namavari, M., Gambhir, S. WILEY. 2019: S537–S538
  • The discovery of quinoline-3-carboxamides as hematopoietic prostaglandin D synthase (H-PGDS) inhibitors. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry Deaton, D. N., Do, Y., Holt, J., Jeune, M. R., Kramer, H. F., Larkin, A. L., Orband-Miller, L. A., Peckham, G. E., Poole, C., Price, D. J., Schaller, L. T., Shen, Y., Shewchuk, L. M., Stewart, E. L., Stuart, J. D., Thomson, S. A., Ward, P., Wilson, J. W., Xu, T., Guss, J. H., Musetti, C., Rendina, A. R., Affleck, K., Anders, D., Hancock, A. P., Hobbs, H., Hodgson, S. T., Hutchinson, J., Leveridge, M. V., Nicholls, H., Smith, I. E., Somers, D. O., Sneddon, H. F., Uddin, S., Cleasby, A., Mortenson, P. N., Richardson, C., Saxty, G. 2019


    With the goal of discovering more selective anti-inflammatory drugs, than COX inhibitors, to attenuate prostaglandin signaling, a fragment-based screen of hematopoietic prostaglandin D synthase was performed. The 76 crystallographic hits were sorted into similar groups, with the 3-cyano-quinoline 1a (FP IC50 = 220,000 nM, LE = 0.43) being a potent member of the 6,6-fused heterocyclic cluster. Employing SAR insights gained from structural comparisons of other H-PGDS fragment binding mode clusters, the initial hit 1a was converted into the 70-fold more potent quinoline 1d (IC50 = 3,100 nM, LE = 0.49). A systematic substitution of the amine moiety of 1d, utilizing structural information and array chemistry, with modifications to improve inhibitor stability, resulted in the identification of the 300-fold more active H-PGDS inhibitor tool compound 1bv (IC50 = 9.9 nM, LE = 0.42). This selective inhibitor exhibited good murine pharmacokinetics, dose-dependently attenuated PGD2 production in a mast cell degranulation assay and should be suitable to further explore H-PGDS biology.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bmc.2019.02.017

    View details for PubMedID 30858025

  • Electrochemical [(11)C]CO2 to [(11)C]CO conversion for PET imaging. Chemical communications (Cambridge, England) Anders, D. A., Bongarzone, S., Fortt, R., Gee, A. D., Long, N. J. 2017; 53 (20): 2982-2985


    The development of a novel electrochemical methodology to generate carbon-11 carbon monoxide ([(11)C]CO) from cyclotron-produced carbon-11 carbon dioxide ([(11)C]CO2) using Ni(cyclam) and Zn(cyclen) complexes is described. This methodology allows up to 10% yields of [(11)C]CO from [(11)C]CO2. Produced [(11)C]CO was subsequently converted to [(11)C]N-benzylbenzamide under mild conditions with a radiochemical purity (RCP) of >98%.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c7cc00319f

    View details for PubMedID 28234400