Tetraphenylphosphonium as a novel molecular probe for Imaging tumors JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Min, J. J., Biswal, S., Deroose, C., Gambhir, S. S. 2004; 45 (4): 636-643


Mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsim)-dependent enhanced uptake of phosphonium salts, including (3)H-tetraphenylphosphonium ((3)H-TPP), in tumor cells, suggests the potential use of phosphonium salts as tracers for tumor imaging. In this study, we characterize the tumor accumulation of (3)H-TPP and compare it with (18)F-FDG in cell culture and in xenograft, metastatic, and inflammation models in living animals.(3)H-TPP and (3)H-FDG accumulation was compared in cell culture with a variety of cell lines in different glucose concentrations. Normal biodistribution and tumor uptake were assessed using nude mice with or without subcutaneous xenograft tumors (C6). To compare the accumulation of (3)H-TPP and (18)F-FDG in a metastatic tumor, severe combined immunodeficiency mice were tail-vein injected with human melanoma cell lines (A375-FL). To characterize the accumulation of (3)H-TPP and (18)F-FDG in inflammation, an inflammatory reaction was induced by subcutaneous injection of Complete Freund's Adjuvant in the left hind paw of Sprague-Dawley rat.The DeltaPsim data from a separate study and the current (3)H-TPP uptake data showed good correlation (r(2) = 0.82, P < 0.05). (3)H-TPP accumulation was significantly greater than that of (3)H-FDG for glucose >/=100 mg/dL. The biodistribution study of (3)H-TPP showed low uptake in most tissues but high accumulation in the heart and kidneys. (3)H-TPP accumulation in xenograft or metastatic tumors was comparable with that of (18)F-FDG, whereas (3)H-TPP accumulation in inflammatory tissues was markedly lower than that of (18)F-FDG.The sensitive tumor accumulation of (3)H-TPP with less propensity for inflammatory regions warrants further investigation of radiolabeled phosphonium analogs for tumor imaging in living subjects.

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