Thrombus formation plays a major role in cardiovascular diseases, but noninvasive thrombus imaging is still challenging. Fibrin is a major component of both arterial and venous thrombi and represents an ideal candidate for imaging of thrombosis. Recently, we showed that (64)Cu-DOTA-labeled PET probes based on fibrin-specific peptides are suitable for thrombus imaging in vivo; however, the metabolic stability of these probes was limited. Here, we describe 4 new probes using either (64)Cu or aluminum fluoride (Al(18)F) chelated to 2 NOTA derivatives.
METHODS: Probes were synthesized using a known fibrin-specific peptide conjugated to either NODAGA (FBP8, FBP10) or NOTA-monoamide (FBP9, FBP11) as chelators, followed by labeling with (64)Cu (FBP8 and FBP9) or Al(18)F (FBP10 and FBP11). PET imaging efficacy, pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, and metabolic stability were assessed in a rat model of arterial thrombosis.
RESULTS: All probes had similar nanomolar affinity (435-760 nM) for the soluble fibrin fragment DD(E). PET imaging allowed clear visualization of thrombus by all probes, with a 5-fold or higher thrombus-to-background ratio. Compared with the previous DOTA derivative, the new (64)Cu probes FBP8 and FBP9 showed substantially improved metabolic stability (>85% intact in blood at 4 h after injection), resulting in high uptake at the target site (0.5-0.8 percentage injected dose per gram) that persisted over 5 h, producing increasingly greater target-to-background ratios. The thrombus uptake was 5- to 20-fold higher than the uptake in the contralateral artery, blood, muscle, lungs, bone, spleen, large intestine, and heart at 2 h after injection and 10- to 40-fold higher at 5 h. The Al(18)F derivatives FBP10 and FBP11 were less stable, in particular the NODAGA conjugate (FBP10, CONCLUSION: FBP8, FBP9, and FBP11 showed excellent metabolic stability and high thrombus-to-background ratios and represent promising candidates for imaging of thrombosis in vivo.