Publications by authors named "Megan Blacker"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

F-Labeled perfluorocarbon droplets for positron emission tomography imaging.

Nucl Med Biol 2017 Nov 12;54:27-33. Epub 2017 Jul 12.

Department of Medical Imaging, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Electronic address:

Introduction: Nanoscale perfluorocarbon (PFC) droplets have been used to create imaging agents and drug delivery vehicles. However, development and characterization of new formulations of PFC droplets are hindered because of the lack of simple methods for quantitative and sensitive assessment of whole body tissue distribution and pharmacokinetics of the droplets. To address this issue, a general-purpose method for radiolabeling the inner core of nanoscale perfluorocarbon droplets with a hydrophobic and lipophobic fluorine-18 compound was developed, so that positron emission tomography (PET) and quantitative biodistribution studies can be employed to evaluate PFC nanodroplets in vivo.

Methods: A robust method to produce [F]CF(CF)(CH)F from a tosylate precursor using [F]F was developed. The product's effectiveness as a general label for different PFCs and its ability to distinguish the in vivo behavior of different PFC droplet formulations was evaluated using two types of PFC nanodroplets: fluorosurfactant-stabilized perfluorohexane (PFH) nanodroplets and lipid-stabilized perfluorooctylbromide (PFOB) nanodroplets. In vivo assessment of the F-labeled PFH and PFOB nanodroplets were conducted in normal mice following intravenous injection using small animal PET imaging and gamma counting of tissues and fluids.

Results: [F]CF(CF)(CH)F was produced in modest yield and was stable with respect to loss of fluoride in vitro. The labeled fluorocarbon was successfully integrated into PFH nanodroplets (~175 nm) and PFOB nanodroplets (~260 nm) without altering their mean sizes, size distributions, or surface charges compared to their non-radioactive analogues. No leakage of the radiolabel from the nanodroplets was detected after droplet formation in vitro. PET imaging and biodistribution data for the two droplet types tested showed significantly different tissue uptake and clearance patterns.

Conclusion: A convenient method for producing F-labeled PFC droplets was developed. The results highlight the potential utility of the strategy for pre-clinical evaluation of different PFC droplet formulations through direct PFC core labeling using a fluorinated radiolabel.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2017.07.001DOI Listing
November 2017

Ga-labeled deferoxamine derivatives for imaging bacterial infection: Preparation and screening of functionalized siderophore complexes.

Nucl Med Biol 2017 Sep 1;52:32-41. Epub 2017 Jun 1.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M1, Canada; Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M1, Canada. Electronic address:

Introduction: Deferoxamine (DFO) is a siderophore that bacteria use to scavenge iron and could serve as a targeting vector to image bacterial infection where current techniques have critical limitations. [Ga]-DFO, which is a mimetic of the corresponding iron complex, is taken up by bacteria in culture, however in vivo it clears too rapidly to allow for imaging of infection. In response, we developed several new DFO derivatives to identify those that accumulate in bacteria, and at sites of infection, and that could potentially have improved pharmacokinetics.

Methods: A library of DFO derivatives was synthesized by functionalizing the terminal amine group of DFO using three different carbamate-forming reactions. Uptake of [Ga]-DFO and the Ga-labeled derivatives by bacteria and the biodistribution of lead compounds were studied.

Results: Ga-labeled DFO derivatives were prepared and isolated in >90% radiochemical yield and >95% radiochemical purity. The derivatives had significant but slower uptake rates in Staphylococcus aureus than [Ga]-DFO (6% to 60% of the control rate), with no uptake for the most lipophilic derivatives. Biodistribution studies in mice with a S. aureus infection in one thigh revealed that the ethyl carbamate derivative had an excellent infected-to-non-infected ratio (11:1), but high non-specific localization in the gall bladder, liver and small intestine.

Conclusions: The work reported shows that it is possible to functionalize DFO-type siderophores and retain active uptake of the Ga-labeled complexes by bacteria. Novel Ga-labeled DFO derivatives were specifically taken up by S. aureus and selected derivatives demonstrated in vivo localization at sites of infection. ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PATIENT CARE: Ga-labeled DFO derivatives were actively transported by bacteria using the iron-siderophore pathway, suggesting that it is possible to develop siderophore-based radiopharmaceuticals for imaging bacterial infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2017.05.010DOI Listing
September 2017

A 99mTc-Labelled Tetrazine for Bioorthogonal Chemistry. Synthesis and Biodistribution Studies with Small Molecule trans-Cyclooctene Derivatives.

PLoS One 2016 9;11(12):e0167425. Epub 2016 Dec 9.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

A convenient strategy to radiolabel a hydrazinonicotonic acid (HYNIC)-derived tetrazine with 99mTc was developed, and its utility for creating probes to image bone metabolism and bacterial infection using both active and pretargeting strategies was demonstrated. The 99mTc-labelled HYNIC-tetrazine was synthesized in 75% yield and exhibited high stability in vitro and in vivo. A trans-cyclooctene (TCO)-labelled bisphosphonate (TCO-BP) that binds to regions of active calcium metabolism was used to evaluate the utility of the labelled tetrazine for bioorthogonal chemistry. The pretargeting approach, with 99mTc-HYNIC-tetrazine administered to mice one hour after TCO-BP, showed significant uptake of radioactivity in regions of active bone metabolism (knees and shoulders) at 6 hours post-injection. For comparison, TCO-BP was reacted with 99mTc-HYNIC-tetrazine before injection and this active targeting also showed high specific uptake in the knees and shoulders, whereas control 99mTc-HYNIC-tetrazine alone did not. A TCO-vancomycin derivative was similarly employed for targeting Staphylococcus aureus infection in vitro and in vivo. Pretargeting and active targeting strategies showed 2.5- and 3-fold uptake, respectively, at the sites of a calf-muscle infection in a murine model, compared to the contralateral control muscle. These results demonstrate the utility of the 99mTc-HYNIC-tetrazine for preparing new technetium radiopharmaceuticals, including those based on small molecule targeting constructs containing TCO, using either active or pretargeting strategies.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0167425PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5147877PMC
July 2017

(125)I-Tetrazines and Inverse-Electron-Demand Diels-Alder Chemistry: A Convenient Radioiodination Strategy for Biomolecule Labeling, Screening, and Biodistribution Studies.

Bioconjug Chem 2016 Jan 5;27(1):207-16. Epub 2016 Jan 5.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and ‡Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, McMaster University , 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4M1.

A convenient method to prepare radioiodinated tetrazines was developed, such that a bioorthogonal inverse electron demand Diels-Alder reaction can be used to label biomolecules with iodine-125 for in vitro screening and in vivo biodistribution studies. The tetrazine was prepared by employing a high-yielding oxidative halo destannylation reaction that concomitantly oxidized the dihydrotetrazine precursor. The product reacts quickly and efficiently with trans-cyclooctene derivatives. Utility was demonstrated through antibody and hormone labeling experiments and by evaluating products using standard analytical methods, in vitro assays, and quantitative biodistribution studies where the latter was performed in direct comparison to Bolton-Hunter and direct iodination methods. The approach described provides a convenient and advantageous alternative to conventional protein iodination methods that can expedite preclinical development and evaluation of biotherapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.5b00609DOI Listing
January 2016

Preparation and evaluation of fluorine-18-labeled insulin as a molecular imaging probe for studying insulin receptor expression in tumors.

J Med Chem 2014 May 22;57(9):3678-86. Epub 2014 Apr 22.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and ‡Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, McMaster University , 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4M1.

A convenient emulsion-based labeling method was used to synthesize fluorine-18-labeled insulin specifically B(1)-(4-[(18)F]fluorobenzoyl)insulin ((18)F-4b) in 6% overall radiochemical yield in 240 min. In vitro screening in MCF7 breast cancer cells demonstrated that the nonradioactive analogue (19)F-4a effectively competed with (125)I-insulin for the insulin receptor (IC50 = 10.6 nM) comparable to that for insulin (IC50 = 7.4 nM). (18)F-4b was also more stable than (125)I-insulin in mouse plasma with 50% remaining intact after 30 min. A biodistribution study in normal mice showed initial uptake of the tracer in the kidneys, liver, and gall bladder but rapid clearance via the urine/bladder which was also observed in murine models bearing insulin receptor positive tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm401020cDOI Listing
May 2014

Synthesis, characterisation, and biodistribution of radioiodinated C-hydroxy-carboranes.

Chemistry 2012 Aug 16;18(35):11071-8. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

The synthesis, radiolabelling and biodistribution of iodinated C-hydroxy-nido-carborane ligands is described. Microwave heating by using NaF in aqueous ethanol was used to prepare {sodium [7-hydroxy-7,8-dicarba-nido-undecaborate], nido-carboranol} and {sodium [7-hydroxy-7,8-dicarba-nido-undecaborate-8-carboxylic acid], nido-salborin} in 97 and 90 % yield, respectively. Radioiodination of these nido-carboranes was completed by using both (125)I and (123)I, and the products were obtained in high radiochemical purity (>99 %) and yield (72 to 87 %). The structures of the radiolabelled products were validated through comparison to authentic standards. Biodistribution studies in BALB/c mice showed low accumulation of the labelled compounds in the liver and intestines, which are sites where labelled carboranes typically localise. The labelled cluster bearing hydroxy and carboxylic acid groups on the two carbon vertices demonstrated preferential clearance through the kidneys and low thyroid uptake. This compound had substantially reduced non-specific binding than the deshydroxy analogue making it an attractive bifunctional ligand for preparing targeted molecular imaging and therapy agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.201200833DOI Listing
August 2012

Emulsion reactors: a new technique for the preparation of molecular imaging probes.

Chemistry 2012 May 25;18(22):6746-9. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.201200049DOI Listing
May 2012

Triazole Appending Agent (TAAG): A New Synthon for Preparing Iodine-Based Molecular Imaging and Radiotherapy Agents.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2012 Apr 18;3(4):313-6. Epub 2012 Feb 18.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University , 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L8, Canada.

A new prosthetic group referred to as the triazole appending agent (TAAG) was developed as a means to prepare targeted radioiodine-based molecular imaging and therapy agents. Tributyltin-TAAG and the fluorous analogue were synthesized in high yield using simple click chemistry and the products labeled in greater than 95% RCY with (123)I. A TAAG derivative of an inhibitor of prostate-specific membrane antigen was prepared and radiolabeled with (123)I in 85% yield where biodistribution studies in LNCap prostate cancer tumor models showed rapid clearance of the agent from nontarget tissues and tumor accumulation of 20% injected dose g(-1) at 1 h. The results presented demonstrate that the TAAG group promotes minimal nonspecific binding and that labeled conjugates can achieve high tumor uptake and exquisite target-to-nontarget ratios.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ml300003vDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4025841PMC
April 2012

p75 neurotrophin receptor protects primary cultures of human neurons against extracellular amyloid beta peptide cytotoxicity.

J Neurosci 2003 Aug;23(19):7385-94

Department of Neurology and Center for Aging and Developmental Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.

The cytotoxicity of extracellular amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) has been clearly demonstrated in many cell types. In contrast, primary human neurons in culture are resistant to extracellular Abeta-mediated toxicity. Here, we investigate the involvement of p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) in Abeta-treated human neurons. We find that Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42, but not the reverse control peptide, Abeta40-1, rapidly increase the levels of p75NTR in a specific and dose-dependent manner. In contrast to observations in cell lines, enhanced expression of p75NTR in human neurons via a herpes simplex virus amplicon vector does not increase the susceptibility of neurons to Abeta. Unexpectedly, inhibition of p75NTR expression with an antisense expression construct or incubation of the cells with an antibody to the extracellular domain of p75NTR sensitizes human neurons to extracellular nonfibrillar or fibrillar Abeta1-42 cytotoxicity. Unlike intracellular Abeta, extracellular Abeta toxicity is independent of p53 and Bax activity. However, Abeta toxicity is inhibited by caspase inhibitors and the glycogen synthase kinase 3beta inhibitor lithium. Neuroprotection against Abeta is phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase dependent but Akt independent. These results are consistent with a neuroprotective role for p75NTR against extracellular Abeta toxicity in human neurons.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6740455PMC
August 2003

Effect of tumor necrosis factor-alpha converting enzyme (TACE) and metalloprotease inhibitor on amyloid precursor protein metabolism in human neurons.

J Neurochem 2002 Dec;83(6):1349-57

The Bloomfield Center for Research in Aging, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is implicated in inflammatory processes and much effort is being directed at inhibiting the release of TNF-alpha for treatment of inflammatory conditions. In this context, the drug CP-661,631 has been developed to inhibit the TNF-alpha converting enzyme (TACE). However, TACE is also implicated in amyloid precursor protein secretion. Amyloid precursor protein (APP) undergoes constitutive and regulated secretion by alpha-secretase endoproteolytic cleavage within the amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) domain. Alternative cleavage at the N- and C-terminus of the Abeta domain by beta- and gamma-secretases results in the production of Abeta. In many cellular and in vivo animal models, increased secretion of APP results in a concomitant decrease in the production of Abeta suggesting that the two pathways are intricately linked. However, in human primary neuron cultures, increased APP secretion is not associated with a decrease in total Abeta production. To determine if the use of CP-661,631 may enhance amyloidogenic processing in human brain, we have assessed the effect of CP-661,631 on APP metabolism in primary cultures of human neurons. Our results show that CP-661,631 effectively prevents regulated APP secretion but does not increase total Abeta levels in human primary neuron cultures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1471-4159.2002.01228.xDOI Listing
December 2002