Publications by authors named "Alexander Hoepping"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

(+)-[F]Flubatine as a novel α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor PET ligand-results of the first-in-human brain imaging application in patients with β-amyloid PET-confirmed Alzheimer's disease and healthy controls.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2021 Mar 16;48(3):731-746. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Leipzig, Liebigstraße 18, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.

Purposes: We present the first in-human brain PET imaging data of the new α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-targeting radioligand (+)-[F]Flubatine. Aims were to develop a kinetic modeling-based approach to quantify (+)-[F]Flubatine and compare the data of healthy controls (HCs) and patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD); to investigate the partial volume effect (PVE) on regional (+)-[F]Flubatine binding; and whether (+)-[F]Flubatine binding and cognitive test data respective β-amyloid radiotracer accumulation were correlated.

Methods: We examined 11 HCs and 9 mild AD patients. All subjects underwent neuropsychological testing and [C]PiB PET/MRI examination. (+)-[F]Flubatine PET data were evaluated using full kinetic modeling and regional as well as voxel-based analyses.

Results: With 270-min p.i., the unchanged parent compound amounted to 97 ± 2%. Adequate fits of the time-activity curves were obtained with the 1 tissue compartment model (1TCM). (+)-[F]Flubatine distribution volume (binding) was significantly reduced in bilateral mesial temporal cortex in AD patients compared with HCs (right 10.6 ± 1.1 vs 11.6 ± 1.4, p = 0.049; left 11.0 ± 1.1 vs 12.2 ± 1.8, p = 0.046; one-sided t tests each). PVE correction increased not only (+)-[F]Flubatine binding of approximately 15% but also standard deviation of 0.4-70%. Cognitive test data and (+)-[F]Flubatine binding were significantly correlated in the left anterior cingulate, right posterior cingulate, and right parietal cortex (r > 0.5, p < 0.05 each). In AD patients, (+)-[F]Flubatine binding and [C]PiB standardized uptake value ratios were negatively correlated in several regions; whereas in HCs, a positive correlation between cortical (+)-[F]Flubatine binding and [C]PiB accumulation in the white matter was found. No adverse event related to (+)-[F]Flubatine occurred.

Conclusion: (+)-[F]Flubatine is a safe and stable PET ligand. Full kinetic modeling can be realized by 1TCM without metabolite correction. (+)-[F]Flubatine binding affinity was high enough to detect group differences. Of interest, correlation between white matter β-amyloid PET uptake and (+)-[F]Flubatine binding indicated an association between white matter integrity and availability of α4β2 nAChRs. Overall, (+)-[F]Flubatine showed favorable characteristics and has therefore the potential to serve as α4β2 nAChR-targeting PET ligand in further clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00259-020-05029-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8036219PMC
March 2021

and Human Metabolism of ()-[F]Fluspidine - A Radioligand for Imaging σ Receptors With Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

Front Pharmacol 2019 13;10:534. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Department of Neuroradiopharmaceuticals, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Leipzig, Germany.

()-[F]fluspidine (()-[F]) has recently been explored for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of sigma-1 receptors in humans. In the current report, we have used plasma samples of healthy volunteers to investigate the radiometabolites of ()-[F] and elucidate their structures with LC-MS/MS. For the latter purpose additional studies were conducted by incubation of ()-[F] and ()- with human liver microsomes (HLM). metabolites were characterized by interpretation of MS/MS fragmentation patterns from collision-induced dissociation or by use of reference compounds. Thereby, structures of corresponding radio-HPLC-detected radiometabolites, both and (human), could be identified. By incubation with HLM, mainly debenzylation and hydroxylation occurred, beside further mono- and di-oxygenations. The product hydroxylated at the fluoroethyl side chain was glucuronidated. Plasma samples (10, 20, 30 min p.i., = 5-6), obtained from human subjects receiving 250-300 MBq ()-[F] showed 97.2, 95.4, and 91.0% of unchanged radioligand, respectively. In urine samples (90 min p.i.) the fraction of unchanged radioligand was only 2.6% and three major radiometabolites were detected. The one with the highest percentage, also found in plasma, matched the glucuronide formed . Only a small amount of debenzylated metabolite was detected. In conclusion, our metabolic study, in particular the high fractions of unchanged radioligand in plasma, confirms the suitability of ()-[F] as PET radioligand for sigma-1 receptor imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2019.00534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6585474PMC
June 2019

Image-Guided Development of Heterocyclic Sulfoxides as Ligands for Tau Neurofibrillary Tangles: From First-in-Man to Second-Generation Ligands.

ACS Omega 2018 Jul 9;3(7):7567-7579. Epub 2018 Jul 9.

Realomics SRI, Kjemisk Institutt, Universitetet i Oslo, Sem Sælands vei 26, Kjemibygningen, 0371 Oslo, Norway.

Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of misfolded protein aggregates that form in neurodegenerative processes of the brain is key to providing a robust marker for improved diagnosis and evaluation of treatments. We report the development of advanced radiotracer candidates based on the sulfoxide scaffold found in proton pump inhibitors (lansoprazole, prevacid) with inherent affinity to neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders (e.g., dementia with Lewy bodies and the frontotemporal degeneration syndrome). First-in-man results obtained with [F]lansoprazole and -methyl-[F]lansoprazole were used to guide the design of a set of 24 novel molecules with suitable properties for neuroimaging with PET. Compounds were synthesized and characterized pharmacologically, and the binding affinity of the compounds to synthetic human tau-441 fibrils was determined. Selectivity of binding was assessed using α-synuclein and β-amyloid fibrils to address the key misfolded proteins of relevance in dementia. To complete the pharmacokinetic profiling in vitro, plasma protein binding and lipophilicity were investigated. Highly potent and selective new radiotracer candidates were identified for further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.8b00975DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6068598PMC
July 2018

Cognitive correlates of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in mild Alzheimer's dementia.

Brain 2018 06;141(6):1840-1854

Department of Neuroradiopharmaceuticals, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Research Site Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

In early Alzheimer's dementia, there is a need for PET biomarkers of disease progression with close associations to cognitive dysfunction that may aid to predict further cognitive decline and neurodegeneration. Amyloid biomarkers are not suitable for that purpose. The α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α4β2-nAChRs) are widely abundant in the human brain. As neuromodulators they play an important role in cognitive functions such as attention, learning and memory. Post-mortem studies reported lower expression of α4β2-nAChRs in more advanced Alzheimer's dementia. However, there is ongoing controversy whether α4β2-nAChRs are reduced in early Alzheimer's dementia. Therefore, using the recently developed α4β2-nAChR-specific radioligand (-)-18F-flubatine and PET, we aimed to quantify the α4β2-nAChR availability and its relationship to specific cognitive dysfunction in mild Alzheimer's dementia. Fourteen non-smoking patients with mild Alzheimer's dementia, drug-naïve for cholinesterase therapy, were compared with 15 non-smoking healthy controls matched for age, sex and education by applying (-)-18F-flubatine PET together with a neuropsychological test battery. The one-tissue compartment model and Logan plot method with arterial input function were used for kinetic analysis to obtain the total distribution volume (VT) as the primary, and the specific binding part of the distribution volume (VS) as the secondary quantitative outcome measure of α4β2-nAChR availability. VS was determined by using a pseudo-reference region. Correlations between VT within relevant brain regions and Z-scores of five cognitive functions (episodic memory, executive function/working memory, attention, language, visuospatial function) were calculated. VT (and VS) were applied for between-group comparisons. Volume of interest and statistical parametric mapping analyses were carried out. Analyses revealed that in patients with mild Alzheimer's dementia compared to healthy controls, there was significantly lower VT, especially within the hippocampus, fronto-temporal cortices, and basal forebrain, which was similar to comparisons of VS. VT decline in Alzheimer's dementia was associated with distinct domains of impaired cognitive functioning, especially episodic memory and executive function/working memory. Using (-)-18F-flubatine PET in patients with mild Alzheimer's dementia, we show for the first time a cholinergic α4β2-nAChR deficiency mainly present within the basal forebrain-cortical and septohippocampal cholinergic projections and a relationship between lower α4β2-nAChR availability and impairment of distinct cognitive domains, notably episodic memory and executive function/working memory. This shows the potential of (-)-18F-flubatine as PET biomarker of cholinergic α4β2-nAChR dysfunction and specific cognitive decline. Thus, if validated by longitudinal PET studies, (-)-18F-flubatine might become a PET biomarker of progression of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awy099DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5972585PMC
June 2018

Exploring the Metabolism of (+)-[F]Flubatine in Vitro and in Vivo: LC-MS/MS Aided Identification of Radiometabolites in a Clinical PET Study.

Molecules 2018 Feb 20;23(2). Epub 2018 Feb 20.

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Research Site Leipzig, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Permoserstraße 15, Leipzig 04318, Germany.

Both (+)-[F]flubatine and its enantiomer (-)-[F]flubatine are radioligands for the neuroimaging of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) by positron emission tomography (PET). In a clinical study in patients with early Alzheimer's disease, (+)-[F]flubatine ((+)-[F]) was examined regarding its metabolic fate, in particular by identification of degradation products detected in plasma and urine. The investigations included an in vivo study of (+)-flubatine ((+)-) in pigs and structural elucidation of formed metabolites by LC-MS/MS. Incubations of (+)- and (+)-[F] with human liver microsomes were performed to generate in vitro metabolites, as well as radiometabolites, which enabled an assignment of their structures by comparison of LC-MS/MS and radio-HPLC data. Plasma and urine samples taken after administration of (+)-[F] in humans were examined by radio-HPLC and, on the basis of results obtained in vitro and in vivo, formed radiometabolites were identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020464DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6017759PMC
February 2018

Procedures for the GMP-Compliant Production and Quality Control of [F]PSMA-1007: A Next Generation Radiofluorinated Tracer for the Detection of Prostate Cancer.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2017 Sep 27;10(4). Epub 2017 Sep 27.

German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Division of Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Radiolabeled tracers targeting the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) have become important radiopharmaceuticals for the PET-imaging of prostate cancer. In this connection, we recently developed the fluorine-18-labelled PSMA-ligand [F]PSMA-1007 as the next generation radiofluorinated Glu-ureido PSMA inhibitor after [F]DCFPyL and [F]DCFBC. Since radiosynthesis so far has been suffering from rather poor yields, novel procedures for the automated radiosyntheses of [F]PSMA-1007 have been developed. We herein report on both the two-step and the novel one-step procedures, which have been performed on different commonly-used radiosynthesisers. Using the novel one-step procedure, the [F]PSMA-1007 was produced in good radiochemical yields ranging from 25 to 80% and synthesis times of less than 55 min. Furthermore, upscaling to product activities up to 50 GBq per batch was successfully conducted. All batches passed quality control according to European Pharmacopoeia standards. Therefore, we were able to disclose a new, simple and, at the same time, high yielding production pathway for the next generation PSMA radioligand [F]PSMA-1007. Actually, it turned out that the radiosynthesis is as easily realised as the well-known [F]FDG synthesis and, thus, transferable to all currently-available radiosynthesisers. Using the new procedures, the clinical daily routine can be sustainably supported in-house even in larger hospitals by a single production batch.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph10040077DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748634PMC
September 2017

Radiation dosimetry of the αβ nicotinic receptor ligand (+)-[F]flubatine, comparing preclinical PET/MRI and PET/CT to first-in-human PET/CT results.

EJNMMI Phys 2016 Dec 21;3(1):25. Epub 2016 Oct 21.

Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Research Site Leipzig, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Permoserstraße 15, 04318, Leipzig, Germany.

Background: Both enantiomers of [F]flubatine are new radioligands for neuroimaging of αβ nicotinic acetylcholine receptors with positron emission tomography (PET) exhibiting promising pharmacokinetics which makes them attractive for different clinical questions. In a previous preclinical study, the main advantage of (+)-[F]flubatine compared to (-)-[F]flubatine was its higher binding affinity suggesting that (+)-[F]flubatine might be able to detect also slight reductions of αβ nAChRs and could be more sensitive than (-)-[F]flubatine in early stages of Alzheimer's disease. To support the clinical translation, we investigated a fully image-based internal dosimetry approach for (+)-[F]flubatine, comparing mouse data collected on a preclinical PET/MRI system to piglet and first-in-human data acquired on a clinical PET/CT system. Time-activity curves (TACs) were obtained from the three species, the animal data extrapolated to human scale, exponentially fitted and the organ doses (OD), and effective dose (ED) calculated with OLINDA.

Results: The excreting organs (urinary bladder, kidneys, and liver) receive the highest organ doses in all species. Hence, a renal/hepatobiliary excretion pathway can be assumed. In addition, the ED conversion factors of 12.1 μSv/MBq (mice), 14.3 μSv/MBq (piglets), and 23.0 μSv/MBq (humans) were calculated which are well within the order of magnitude as known from other F-labeled radiotracers.

Conclusions: Although both enantiomers of [F]flubatine exhibit different binding kinetics in the brain due to the respective affinities, the effective dose revealed no enantiomer-specific differences among the investigated species. The preclinical dosimetry and biodistribution of (+)-[F]flubatine was shown and the feasibility of a dose assessment based on image data acquired on a small animal PET/MR and a clinical PET/CT was demonstrated. Additionally, the first-in-human study confirmed the tolerability of the radiation risk of (+)-[F]flubatine imaging which is well within the range as caused by other F-labeled tracers. However, as shown in previous studies, the ED in humans is underestimated by up to 50 % using preclinical imaging for internal dosimetry. This fact needs to be considered when applying for first-in-human studies based on preclinical biokinetic data scaled to human anatomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40658-016-0160-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5074934PMC
December 2016

LC-MS Supported Studies on the in Vitro Metabolism of both Enantiomers of Flubatine and the in Vivo Metabolism of (+)-[(18)F]Flubatine-A Positron Emission Tomography Radioligand for Imaging α4β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

Molecules 2016 Sep 8;21(9). Epub 2016 Sep 8.

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Research Site Leipzig, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Permoserstraße 15, Leipzig 04318, Germany.

Both enantiomers of [(18)F]flubatine are promising radioligands for neuroimaging of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) by positron emission tomography (PET). To support clinical studies in patients with early Alzheimer's disease, a detailed examination of the metabolism in vitro and in vivo has been performed. (+)- and (-)-flubatine, respectively, were incubated with liver microsomes from mouse and human in the presence of NADPH (β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide 2'-phosphate reduced tetrasodium salt). Phase I in vitro metabolites were detected and their structures elucidated by LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry). Selected metabolite candidates were synthesized and investigated for structural confirmation. Besides a high level of in vitro stability, the microsomal incubations revealed some species differences as well as enantiomer discrimination with regard to the formation of monohydroxylated products, which was identified as the main metabolic pathway in this assay. Furthermore, after injection of 250 MBq (+)-[(18)F]flubatine (specific activity > 350 GBq/μmol) into mouse, samples were prepared from brain, liver, plasma, and urine after 30 min and investigated by radio-HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography with radioactivity detection). For structure elucidation of the radiometabolites of (+)-[(18)F]flubatine formed in vivo, identical chromatographic conditions were applied to LC-MS/MS and radio-HPLC to compare samples obtained in vitro and in vivo. By this correlation approach, we assigned three of four main in vivo radiometabolites to products that are exclusively C- or N-hydroxylated at the azabicyclic ring system of the parent molecule.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules21091200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6273452PMC
September 2016

Enhanced copper-mediated (18)F-fluorination of aryl boronic esters provides eight radiotracers for PET applications.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2016 Jun;52(54):8361-4

University of Oxford, Chemistry Research Laboratory, 12 Mansfield Road, OX1 3TA Oxford, UK.

[(18)F]FMTEB, [(18)F]FPEB, [(18)F]flumazenil, [(18)F]DAA1106, [(18)F]MFBG, [(18)F]FDOPA, [(18)F]FMT and [(18)F]FDA are prepared from the corresponding arylboronic esters and [(18)F]KF/K222 in the presence of Cu(OTf)2py4. The method was successfully applied using three radiosynthetic platforms, and up to 26 GBq of non-carrier added starting activity of (18)F-fluoride.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c6cc03295hDOI Listing
June 2016

Development of a Novel Nonpeptidic (18)F-Labeled Radiotracer for in Vivo Imaging of Oxytocin Receptors with Positron Emission Tomography.

J Med Chem 2016 Mar 3;59(5):1800-17. Epub 2016 Feb 3.

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research , Research Site Leipzig, Department of Neuroradiopharmaceuticals,, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany.

With the aim of imaging and quantification of oxytocin receptors (OTRs) in living brain using positron emission tomography (PET), we developed a (18)F-labeled small molecule radiotracer and investigated its in vivo pharmacokinetics in mice and pig. [(18)F]6b (KD = 12.3 nM) was radiolabeled by a two-step procedure using a microwave system with radiochemical yields of 26.9 ± 4.7%. Both organ distribution and small animal PET studies revealed limited brain uptake of [(18)F]6b in mouse (mean SUV of 0.04 at 30 min pi). Besides, significant radioactivity uptake in the pituitary gland was observed (SUV of 0.7 at 30 min pi). In a dynamic PET study in one piglet, we detected a higher uptake of [(18)F]6b in the olfactory bulb (SUV of 0.34 at 30 min pi) accompanied by a low uptake in the whole brain. In vitro autoradiographic studies on porcine brain sections indicated interaction of [(18)F]6b with several off-target receptors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01080DOI Listing
March 2016

Radiosynthesis and first preclinical evaluation of the novel norepinephrine transporter pet-ligand [(11)C]ME@HAPTHI.

EJNMMI Res 2015 Dec 10;5(1):113. Epub 2015 Jun 10.

Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria,

Background: The norepinephrine transporter (NET) has been demonstrated to be relevant to a multitude of neurological, psychiatric and cardiovascular pathologies. Due to the wide range of possible applications for PET imaging of the NET together with the limitations of currently available radioligands, novel PET tracers for imaging of the cerebral NET with improved pharmacological and pharmacodynamic properties are needed.

Methods: The present study addresses the radiosynthesis and first preclinical evaluation of the novel NET PET tracer [(11)C]Me@HAPTHI by describing its affinity, selectivity, metabolic stability, plasma free fraction, blood-brain barrier (BBB) penetration and binding behaviour in in vitro autoradiography.

Results: [(11)C]Me@HAPTHI was prepared and displayed outstanding affinity and selectivity as well as excellent in vitro metabolic stability, and it is likely to penetrate the BBB. Moreover, selective NET binding in in vitro autoradiography was observed in human brain and rat heart tissue samples.

Conclusions: All preclinical results and radiosynthetic key-parameters indicate that the novel benzothiadiazole dioxide-based PET tracer [(11)C]Me@HAPTHI is a feasible and improved NET radioligand and might prospectively facilitate clinical NET imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13550-015-0113-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4467816PMC
December 2015

First-in-human PET quantification study of cerebral α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors using the novel specific radioligand (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine.

Neuroimage 2015 Sep 30;118:199-208. Epub 2015 May 30.

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Research Site Leipzig, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany.

α4β2* nicotinic receptors (α4β2* nAChRs) could provide a biomarker in neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, depressive disorders, and nicotine addiction). However, there is a lack of α4β2* nAChR specific PET radioligands with kinetics fast enough to enable quantification of nAChR within a reasonable time frame. Following on from promising preclinical results, the aim of the present study was to evaluate for the first time in humans the novel PET radioligand (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine, formerly known as (-)-[(18)F]NCFHEB, as a tool for α4β2* nAChR imaging and in vivo quantification. Dynamic PET emission recordings lasting 270min were acquired on an ECAT EXACT HR+ scanner in 12 healthy male non-smoking subjects (71.0±5.0years) following the intravenous injection of 353.7±9.4MBq of (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine. Individual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed for co-registration. PET frames were motion-corrected, before the kinetics in 29 brain regions were characterized using 1- and 2-tissue compartment models (1TCM, 2TCM). Given the low amounts of metabolite present in plasma, we tested arterial input functions with and without metabolite corrections. In addition, pixel-based graphical analysis (Logan plot) was used. The model's goodness of fit, with and without metabolite correction was assessed by Akaike's information criterion. Model parameters of interest were the total distribution volume VT (mL/cm(3)), and the binding potential BPND relative to the corpus callosum, which served as a reference region. The tracer proved to have high stability in vivo, with 90% of the plasma radioactivity remaining as untransformed parent compound at 90min, fast brain kinetics with rapid uptake and equilibration between free and receptor-bound tracer. Adequate fits of brain TACs were obtained with the 1TCM. VT could be reliably estimated within 90min for all regions investigated, and within 30min for low-binding regions such as the cerebral cortex. The rank order of VT by region corresponded well with the known distribution of α4β2* receptors (VT [thalamus] 27.4±3.8, VT [putamen] 12.7±0.9, VT [frontal cortex] 10.0±0.8, and VT [corpus callosum] 6.3±0.8). The BPND, which is a parameter of α4β2* nAChR availability, was 3.41±0.79 for the thalamus, 1.04±0.25 for the putamen and 0.61±0.23 for the frontal cortex, indicating high specific tracer binding. Use of the arterial input function without metabolite correction resulted in a 10% underestimation in VT, and was without important biasing effects on BPND. Altogether, kinetics and imaging properties of (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine appear favorable and suggest that (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine is a very suitable and clinically applicable PET tracer for in vivo imaging of α4β2* nAChRs in neuropsychiatric disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.05.065DOI Listing
September 2015

Internal dose assessment of (-)-18F-flubatine, comparing animal model datasets of mice and piglets with first-in-human results.

J Nucl Med 2014 Nov 6;55(11):1885-92. Epub 2014 Oct 6.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Unlabelled: (-)-(18)F-flubatine is a promising tracer for neuroimaging of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), subtype α4β2, using PET. Radiation doses after intravenous administration of the tracer in mice and piglets were assessed to determine the organ doses (ODs) and the effective dose (ED) to humans. The results were compared with subsequent clinical investigations in human volunteers.

Methods: Twenty-seven female CD1 mice (weight ± SD, 28.2 ± 2.1 g) received intravenous injection of 0.75 ± 0.33 MBq of (-)-(18)F-flubatine. Up to 240 min after injection, 3 animals per time point were sacrificed and the organs harvested, weighed, and counted in a γ counter to determine mass and activity, respectively. Furthermore, whole-body PET scans of 5 female piglets (age ± SD, 44 ± 3 d; weight ± SD, 13.7 ± 1.7 kg) and 3 humans (2 men and 1 woman; age ± SD, 59.6 ± 3.9 y; weight ± SD, 74.3 ± 3.1 kg) were obtained up to 236 min (piglets) and 355 min (humans) after injection of 186.6 ± 7.4 and 353.7 ± 10.2 MBq of (-)-(18)F-flubatine, respectively, using a PET/CT scanner. The CT was used for delineation of the organs. Exponential curves were fitted to the time-activity-data, and time and mass scales were adapted to the human anatomy. The ODs were calculated using OLINDA/EXM (version 1.0); EDs were calculated with the tissue-weighting factors of ICRP103.

Results: After the injection of (-)-(18)F-flubatine, there were no adverse or clinically detectable pharmacologic effects in any of the subjects. The highest activities after injection were found in the kidneys, urinary bladder, and liver. The urinary bladder receives the highest OD in all investigated species, followed by the kidneys and the liver for animals and humans, respectively. On the basis of mouse, piglet, and human kinetic data, the projected human ED of (-)-(18)F-flubatine was estimated to be 12.5 μSv/MBq in mice, 14.7 ± 0.7 μSv/MBq in piglets, and 23.4 ± 0.4 μSv/MBq in humans.

Conclusion: As has been demonstrated for other PET radiotracers, preclinical (i.e., animal-derived) dosimetry underestimates the ED to humans, in the current case of (-)-(18)F-flubatine by 34%-44%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2967/jnumed.114.137059DOI Listing
November 2014

Evaluation of metabolism, plasma protein binding and other biological parameters after administration of (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine in humans.

Nucl Med Biol 2014 Jul 29;41(6):489-94. Epub 2014 Mar 29.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Leipzig, Liebigstrasse 18, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany; Integrated Research and Treatment Centre (IFB) Adiposity Diseases, Leipzig University Medical Centre, Leipzig, Germany.

Introduction: (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine is a PET tracer with high affinity and selectivity for the nicotinic acetylcholine α4β2 receptor subtype. A clinical trial assessing the availability of this subtype of nAChRs was performed. From a total participant number of 21 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and 20 healthy controls (HCs), the following parameters were determined: plasma protein binding, metabolism and activity distribution between plasma and whole blood.

Methods: Plasma protein binding and fraction of unchanged parent compound were assessed by ultracentrifugation and HPLC, respectively. The distribution of radioactivity (parent compound+metabolites) between plasma and whole blood was determined ex vivo at different time-points after injection by gamma counting after separation of whole blood by centrifugation into the cellular and non-cellular components. In additional experiments in vitro, tracer distribution between these blood components was assessed for up to 90min.

Results: A fraction of 15%±2% of (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine was found to be bound to plasma proteins. Metabolic degradation of (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine was very low, resulting in almost 90% unchanged parent compound at 90min p.i. with no significant difference between AD and HC. The radioactivity distribution between plasma and whole blood changed in vivo only slightly over time from 0.82±0.03 at 3min p.i. to 0.87±0.03 at 270min p.i. indicating the contribution of only a small amount of metabolites. In vitro studies revealed that (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine was instantaneously distributed between cellular and non-cellular blood parts.

Discussion: (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine exhibits very favourable characteristics for a PET radiotracer such as slow metabolic degradation and moderate plasma protein binding. Equilibrium of radioactivity distribution between plasma and whole blood is reached instantaneously and remains almost constant over time allowing both convenient sample handling and facilitated fractional blood volume contribution assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2014.03.018DOI Listing
July 2014

Synthesis and biological evaluation of both enantiomers of [(18)F]flubatine, promising radiotracers with fast kinetics for the imaging of α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

Bioorg Med Chem 2014 Jan 12;22(2):804-12. Epub 2013 Dec 12.

ABX Advanced Biochemical Compounds GmbH, Heinrich-Glaeser-Strasse 10-14, D-01454 Radeberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Both enantiomers of the epibatidine analogue flubatine display high affinity towards the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in vitro, accompanied by negligible interactions with diverse off-target proteins. Extended single dose toxicity studies in rodent indicated a NOEL (No Observed Effect Level) of 6.2μg/kg for (-)-flubatine and 1.55μg/kg for (+)-flubatine. We developed syntheses for both flubatine enantiomers and their corresponding precursors for radiolabeling. The newly synthesized trimethylammonium precursors allowed for highly efficient (18)F-radiolabelling in radiochemical yields >60% and specific activities >750GBq/μmol, thus making the radioligands practical for clinical investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2013.12.011DOI Listing
January 2014

Fully automated radiosynthesis of both enantiomers of [18F]Flubatine under GMP conditions for human application.

Appl Radiat Isot 2013 Oct 7;80:7-11. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Leipzig, Liebigstrasse 18, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.

A fully automatized radiosynthesis of (+)- and (-)-[(18)F]Flubatine ((+)- and (-)NCFHEB) by means of a commercially available synthesis module (TRACERlab FX FN) under GMP conditions is reported. Radiochemical yields of 30% within an overall synthesis time of 40 min were achieved in more than 70 individual syntheses. Specific activities were approximately 3000 GBq/μmol and radiochemical purity was determined to be at least 97%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2013.05.009DOI Listing
October 2013

Radiosynthesis of racemic and enantiomerically pure (-)-[18F]flubatine--a promising PET radiotracer for neuroimaging of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

Appl Radiat Isot 2013 Apr 11;74:128-36. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

Department of Neuroradiopharmaceuticals, Institute of Radiopharmacy, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Research Site Leipzig, Permoserstrasse 15, Leipzig, Germany.

(-)-[(18)F]flubatine is a promising agent for visualization by PET of cerebral α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which are implicated in psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we describe a substantially improved two-step radiosynthesis strategy for (-)-[(18)F]flubatine, based on the nucleophilic radiofluorination of an enantiomerically pure precursor followed by deprotection of the intermediate. An extensive leaving group/protecting group library of precursors was tested. Application of a trimethylammonium-iodide precursor with a Boc-protecting group provided the best results: labeling efficiencies of 80-95%, RCY of 60±5%, radiochemical purity of >98%, and a specific activity of >350GBq/μmol. The radiosynthesis is easily transferable to an automated synthesis module.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2013.01.002DOI Listing
April 2013

L-type amino acid transporters LAT1 and LAT4 in cancer: uptake of 3-O-methyl-6-18F-fluoro-L-dopa in human adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in vitro and in vivo.

J Nucl Med 2007 Dec;48(12):2063-71

Department of Radiopharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Radiopharmacy, Research Center Dresden-Rossendorf, Dresden, Germany.

Unlabelled: Expression of system L amino acid transporters (LAT) is strongly increased in many types of tumor cells. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate that (18)F-labeled amino acids, for example, 3-O-methyl-6-(18)F-fluoro-L-dopa ((18)F-OMFD), that accumulate in tumors via LAT represent an important class of imaging agents for visualization of tumors in vivo by PET.

Methods: (18)F-OMFD uptake kinetics, transport inhibition, and system L messenger RNA expression were studied in vitro in human adenocarcinoma (HT-29), squamous cell carcinoma (FaDu), macrophages (THP-1), and primary aortic endothelial cells (HAEC) and in vivo in the corresponding mouse tumor xenograft models.

Results: Uptake of (18)F-OMFD in all cell lines tested was mediated mainly by the sodium-independent high-capacity LAT. We found higher uptake in FaDu cells (V(max), 10.6 +/- 1.1 nmol/min x mg of cell protein) and in the corresponding FaDu tumor xenografts than in the other cells and corresponding xenograft models studied. Quantitative messenger RNA analysis revealed that tumor cells and xenografts have a higher expression of LAT1 than do HAEC and THP-1 macrophages. However, only in the FaDu tumor model did an increased (18)F-OMFD uptake seem to be explained by increased LAT expression. Furthermore, we demonstrated a high expression of LAT4, a recently identified LAT.

Conclusion: Our findings support the hypothesis that (18)F-OMFD is a tracer for visualization of tumor cells. (18)F-OMFD particularly seems to be a suitable tracer for diagnostic imaging of amino acid transport in poorly differentiated squamous cell head and neck carcinoma with increased LAT1 and LAT4 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2967/jnumed.107.043620DOI Listing
December 2007

GABAA receptor pharmacology of fluorinated derivatives of the novel sedative-hypnotic pyrazolopyrimidine indiplon.

Eur J Pharmacol 2008 Feb 22;580(1-2):1-11. Epub 2007 Oct 22.

Department of Neurology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

The function of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABA(A) receptors) is enhanced by various clinically important drugs including benzodiazepines that act on an allosteric site formed at the interface between the alpha and gamma subunits. In contrast to classical benzodiazepines, the novel pyrazolopyrimidine indiplon (N-methyl-N-{3-[7-(thiophene-2-carbonyl)-1,5,9-triazabicyclo[4.3.0]nona-2,4,6,8-tetraen-2-yl]phenyl}acetamide; N-methyl-N-{3-[3-(thiophene-2-carbonyl)-pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine-7-yl]phenyl}-acetamide) demonstrates relative binding selectivity for the alpha1 subunit containing receptor subtypes, which are the most frequently expressed in the mammalian central nervous system. To investigate the pharmacological properties at GABA(A) receptors and to promote the development of alpha1 subunit selective radiotracers for positron emission tomography imaging, we have started with the evaluation of various fluorinated indiplon derivatives. Binding affinities were determined in homogenates from newborn and adult rats suggesting an alpha1 preference of the reference compounds indiplon, zaleplon as well as for all newly synthesized indiplon derivatives. In homogenated cerebellar tissue obtained from adult rat brain, known to primarily express alpha1 containing GABA(A) receptors, the high affinity of the basic indiplon structure was only slightly affected by an elongation of the alkyl substituent of the amide N from methyl (indiplon; K(i) 3.1 nM) via ethyl (2a, N-(2-fluoro-ethyl)-N-{3-[3-(thiophene-2-carbonyl)-pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine-7-yl]phenyl}-acetamide; K(i) 5.4 nM) to propyl (2b, N-(3-fluoro-propyl)-N-{3-[3-(thiophene-2-carbonyl)-pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine-7-yl]phenyl}-acetamide; K(i) 2.4 nM). Whole cell patch-clamp recordings at neuronal and recombinant GABA(A) receptors indicated that the fluorinated derivatives 2a and 2b have a high potency at alpha1beta3gamma2L isoforms comparable to indiplon (EC(50): 105, 158, and 81 nM, respectively), with 2b displaying the most pronounced efficacy at alpha3beta3gamma2L subtypes. In conclusion, the affinity profiles and functional properties of the newly synthesised fluorinated indiplon derivatives make compounds 2a and 2b suitable for the development of [(18)F]-labelled ligands at GABA(A) receptors containing the alpha1 subunit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.10.016DOI Listing
February 2008

Synthesis of fluorine substituted pyrazolopyrimidines as potential leads for the development of PET-imaging agents for the GABAA receptors.

Bioorg Med Chem 2008 Feb 26;16(3):1184-94. Epub 2007 Nov 26.

ABX advanced biochemical compounds GmbH, H.-Gläser-Str. 10-14, D-01454 Radeberg, Germany.

Neuroimaging of GABA(A) receptors offers the potential for a better diagnosis of diseases related to a dysfunction of the GABAergic neurotransmission. A series of potent fluorinated analogues of the pyrazolopyrimidine Indiplon has been synthesized and evaluated in vitro as potential agents for imaging the GABA(A) receptor by means of positron emission tomography (PET). The most promising compound N-(3-fluoropropyl)-N-[3-[3-(thiophene-2-carbonyl)-pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-7-yl]-phenyl]-acetamide (5b) showed an IC(50) value of 2.78+/-0.63 nM comparable to the lead compound Indiplon (IC(50) 3.29+/-0.37 nM), thus making it an interesting candidate for further investigations. In addition to the fluorinated reference compounds, suitable precursors for (18)F-radiolabelling studies have been synthesized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2007.10.079DOI Listing
February 2008

Radiosynthesis and biological evaluation of an 18F-labeled derivative of the novel pyrazolopyrimidine sedative-hypnotic agent indiplon.

Nucl Med Biol 2007 Jul 8;34(5):559-70. Epub 2007 Jun 8.

ABX Advanced Biochemical Compounds GmbH, 01454 Radeberg, Germany.

Introduction: Gamma amino butyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptors are involved in a variety of neurological and psychiatric diseases, which have promoted the development and use of radiotracers for positron emission tomography imaging. Radiolabeled benzodiazepine antagonists such as flumazenil have most extensively been used for this purpose so far. Recently, the non-benzodiazepine pyrazolopyrimidine derivative indiplon with higher specificity for the alpha(1) subtype of the GABA(A) receptor has been introduced for treatment of insomnia. The aim of this study was the development and biological evaluation of an (18)F-labeled derivative of indiplon.

Methods: Both [(18)F]fluoro-indiplon and its labeling precursor were synthesized by two-step procedures starting from indiplon. The radiosynthesis of [(18)F]fluoro-indiplon was performed using the bromoacetyl precursor followed by multiple-stage purification using semipreparative HPLC and solid phase extraction. Stability, partition coefficients, binding affinities and regional brain binding were determined in vitro. Biodistribution and radiotracer metabolism were studied in vivo.

Results: [(18)F]Fluoro-indiplon was readily accessible in good yields (38-43%), with high purity and high specific radioactivity (>150 GBq/micromol). It displays high in vitro stability and moderate lipophilicity. [(18)F]Fluoro-indiplon has an affinity to GABA(A) receptors comparable to indiplon (K(i)=8.0 nM vs. 3.4 nM). In vitro autoradiography indicates high [(18)F]fluoro-indiplon binding in regions with high densities of GABA(A) receptors. However, ex vivo autoradiography and organ distribution studies show no evidence of specific binding of [(18)F]fluoro-indiplon. Furthermore, the radiotracer is rapidly metabolized with high accumulation of labeled metabolites in the brain.

Conclusions: Although [(18)F]fluoro-indiplon shows good in vitro features, it is not suitable for in vivo imaging studies because of its metabolism. Structural modifications are needed to develop derivatives with higher in vivo stability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2007.03.011DOI Listing
July 2007

Synthesis and biodistribution of [18F]FE@CIT, a new potential tracer for the dopamine transporter.

Synapse 2005 Feb;55(2):73-9

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.

In the last decade radiolabeled tropane analogs based on beta-CIT have proven indispensable for the imaging of the dopamine transporter. However, further improvements in their pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic features are desirable. An important improvement, yielding in higher affinity to the dopamine transporter (DAT) vs. serotonin transporter (SERT), can be achieved by a simple replacement of the carboxylic methyl ester group in beta-CIT by a fluoroethyl ester. The preparation and ex vivo evaluation of this new beta-CIT-analog ([18F]FE@CIT) is presented here. Precursor and standard were prepared from beta-CIT and analyzed by spectroscopic methods. Yields of precursor and standard preparation were 61% and 42%, respectively. [18F]FE@CIT was prepared by distillation of [18F]bromofluoroethane ([18F]BFE) and reaction with (1R-2-exo-3-exo)8-methyl-3-(4-iodo-phenyl)-8-azabicyclo[3.2.1] octane-2-carboxylic acid. After 10 min at 150 degrees C the product was purified using a C-18 SepPak. The radiosynthesis evinced radiochemical yields of >90% (based on [18F]BFE), the specific radioactivity was >416 GBq/micromol. An average 30 microAh cyclotron irradiation yielded more than 2.5 GBq [18F]FE@CIT. For the ex vivo bioevaluation, 20 male Sprague-Dawley rats were sacrificed at 5, 15, 30, 60, and 120 min after injection. Organs were removed, weighed, and counted. For autoradiographic experiments, transverse brain slices of about 100 microm were prepared. The ex vivo evaluation showed highest brain uptake in striatal regions, followed by thalamus and cerebellum. The highest striatum to cerebellum ratio was 3.73 and the highest thalamus to cerebellum ratio was 1.65. Autoradiographic images showed a good and differentiated uptake in striatal regions with a good target-to-background ratio.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/syn.20095DOI Listing
February 2005

A new precursor for the preparation of 6-[18F]Fluoro-L-m-tyrosine ([18F]FMT): efficient synthesis and comparison of radiolabeling.

Appl Radiat Isot 2004 Dec;61(6):1289-94

Department of Nuclear Medicine and Functional Imaging, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

For the electrophilic preparation of 6-[18F]fluoro-L-m-tyrosine ([18F]FMT), a PET tracer for measuring changes in dopaminergic function in movement disorders, a novel precursor, N-(tert-butoxycarbonyl)-3-(tert-butoxycarbonyloxy)-6-trimethylstannnyl-L-phenylalanine ethyl ester, was synthesized in four steps and 26% yield starting from L-m-tyrosine. [18F]FMT produced by two methods at two institutions was comparable in both radiochemical yield, 25-26%, and quality (chemical, enantiomeric, and radiochemical purity and specific activity) as that obtained with the original N-trifluoroacetyl-3-acetyl-6-trimethylstannyl-L-m-tyrosine ethyl ester [18F]FMT precursor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2004.04.008DOI Listing
December 2004

Further studies on conformationally constrained tricyclic tropane analogues and their uptake inhibition at monoamine transporter sites: synthesis of (Z)-9-(substituted arylmethylene)-7-azatricyclo[4.3.1.0(3,7)]decanes as a novel class of serotonin transporter inhibitors.

J Med Chem 2002 Apr;45(9):1930-41

Drug Discovery Program, Department of Neurology, Georgetown University Medical Center, 3900 Reservoir Road Northwest, Washington, DC 20007-2197, USA.

A novel series of conformationally constrained tricyclic tropane analogues, (Z)-9-(substituted arylmethylene)-7-azatricyclo[4.3.1.0(3,7)]decanes, were prepared, and their abilities to inhibit high-affinity uptake of dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and norepinephrine (NE) into rat brain nerve endings (synaptosomes) were evaluated. First, a systematic screening of a variety of different substituents on the phenyl ring indicated that the substitution pattern plays an important role in the monoamine transporter activity. Most compounds in this series possessed a very low activity at the DA transporter (DAT) but a good to excellent affinity for the 5-HT transporter (SERT). In the case of para-substituted phenyl analogues, the electronic character of the substituent did not affect uptake inhibition as dramatically as observed in some benztropine analogues. Among these compounds, the 4-bromophenyl and 4-isopropylphenyl analogues 8d and 8j exhibited the highest potency at the SERT with a K(i) value of 10 nM. In the 3,4-disubstituted phenyl series, even more potent and highly selective compounds were discovered. Compound 8o has a K(i) value of 2.3 nM for uptake inhibition at the SERT, a DAT/SERT uptake ratio of 2360, and a NET/SERT uptake ratio of 200. Compound 8p exhibited a K(i) value of 1.8 nM for uptake inhibition at the SERT, a DAT/SERT uptake ratio of 1740, and a NET/SERT uptake ratio of 151. These compounds are 3-4-fold more potent than the antidepressant medication fluoxetine, and the selectivities for SERT over DAT and NET are also better than those of fluoxetine. Second, a variety of functional modifications on the ester moiety were investigated. Substitution by other esters or amides as well as alkenes did not increase potency, while most of the acetates or benzoates (16-21, 23, and 24) and the ketone 28 exhibited significantly improved activity. A good hydrogen-bonding ability of the substituent is believed to be required for high activity. The most potent and selective ligand is compound 23, which displayed a K(i) value of 0.06 nM and has essentially no activity at the DAT or NET. The present results have important implications for drug addiction as well as a number of psychiatric diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm0105373DOI Listing
April 2002