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See detailNeuro-functional correlates of the protective effects of exercise against cocaine sensitization and dopamine D2 receptors density: a [18F]Fallypride microPET study.
Becker, Guillaume ULiege; Lespine, Louis-Ferdinand ULiege; Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULiege et al

in Molecular Imaging and Biology (in press)

Preclinical studies suggest that free access to a running wheel can attenuate behavioural effects of addictive drugs such as psychomotor sensitization to cocaine in rodents. This phenomenon has an ... [more ▼]

Preclinical studies suggest that free access to a running wheel can attenuate behavioural effects of addictive drugs such as psychomotor sensitization to cocaine in rodents. This phenomenon has an integral role in the process of drug addiction in craving and relapse (Steketee and Kalivas, 2011). Free wheel-running was recently shown to be efficacious at preventing the initiation or the long-term expression of psychomotor sensitization to cocaine in mice or rats (Diaz et al., 2013; Geuzaine and Tirelli, 2014). In the present study, we investigated the neuro-functional correlates of the protection against psychomotor sensitization to cocaine afforded by free wheel-running on dopaminergic neurotransmission, using microPET imaging with [18F]Fallypride, a Dopamine 2 receptor (D2R) antagonist. Sixty-four 28-day-old female C57BL/6J mice were randomly assigned to one of the two housing conditions, defined by the presence or the absence of a running wheel in the cage over a 6-week pre-testing period. Since mice from the two types of housing received either saline (controls) or cocaine (8 mg/kg, i.p.) during testing (9 once-daily sessions to establish sensitization plus 1 single session to test its expression), a basic 2x2 randomized blocks design was generated (2-way ANOVA and planned comparisons; n=10). Experimentation lasted 85 days, with a 42-day period of pre-testing and a 3-week interval preceding the test for long-term expression of sensitization (LTES). All mice underwent a microPET (Focus 120, Siemens) the day after the LTES. The microPET protocol consisted of a 60 min. dynamic acquisition after the injection of 10 MBq of [18F]Fallypride in the tail vein. Wheel-running strongly and significantly attenuated LTES (interaction) to cocaine (Cohen’s d=1.63; t(21)=3.75, p<.001) and cocaine-treated mice exhibited a clear-cut and significant increase (main effect) of the [18F]Fallypride BP (d=0.88, t(31)=2.45, p =.02). Wheel-running induced an overall moderate-sized decrease (main effect) of the [18F]Fallypride BP, but without achieving statistical significance (d=0.64, t(31)=1.79, p =.08). These findings suggest that LTES is associated with an increase of the [18F]Fallypride BP in the mouse striatum, probably reflecting an increase in postsynaptic D2R density in this region. Also, the protecting effect of free running on psychomotor sensitization goes together with a decrease in D2R density in the striatum of exercised mice. We intend to complement the present study with an identical experiment to reach a total number of 80 mice (n=20). This will confer to our study a sufficient power (80%) for the main effect of wheel-running exercise on [18F]Fallypride BP to be detected at an alpha-level of 5%. Finally, autoradiography studies, performed on the same mice with [18F]Fallypride, will strengthen our in vivo results. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluating the In Vivo Specificity of [18F]UCB-H for the SV2A Protein, Compared with SV2B and SV2C in Rats Using microPET.
Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULiege; Becker, Guillaume ULiege; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULiege et al

in Molecules (2019), 24(9), 1705

The synaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2) is involved in synaptic vesicle trafficking. The SV2A isoform is the most studied and its implication in epilepsy therapy led to the development of the first SV2A PET ... [more ▼]

The synaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2) is involved in synaptic vesicle trafficking. The SV2A isoform is the most studied and its implication in epilepsy therapy led to the development of the first SV2A PET radiotracer [18F]UCB-H. The objective of this study was to evaluate in vivo, using microPET in rats, the specificity of [18F]UCB-H for SV2 isoform A in comparison with the other two isoforms (B and C) through a blocking assay. Twenty Sprague Dawley rats were pre-treated either with the vehicle, or with specific competitors against SV2A (levetiracetam), SV2B (UCB5203) and SV2C (UCB0949). The distribution volume (Vt, Logan plot, t* 15 min) was obtained with a population-based input function. The Vt analysis for the entire brain showed statistically significant differences between the levetiracetam group and the other groups (p < 0.001), but also between the vehicle and the SV2B group (p < 0.05). An in-depth Vt analysis conducted for eight relevant brain structures confirmed the statistically significant differences between the levetiracetam group and the other groups (p < 0.001) and highlighted the superior and the inferior colliculi along with the cortex as regions also displaying statistically significant differences between the vehicle and SV2B groups (p < 0.05). These results emphasize the in vivo specificity of [18F]UCB-H for SV2A against SV2B and SV2C, confirming that [18F]UCB-H is a suitable radiotracer for in vivo imaging of the SV2A proteins with PET. [less ▲]

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See detailFully Automated Synthesis and Evaluation of [ 18 F]BPAM121: Potential of an AMPA Receptor Positive Allosteric Modulator as PET Radiotracer
Manos-Turvey, A.; Becker, Guillaume ULiege; Francotte, Pierre ULiege et al

in ChemMedChem (2019), 14(7), 788-795

Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains a significant burden on society. In the search for new AD drugs, modulators of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) are of particular ... [more ▼]

Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains a significant burden on society. In the search for new AD drugs, modulators of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) are of particular interest, as loss of synaptic AMPARs has been linked to AD learning and memory deficits. Previously reported fluorine-containing BPAM121, an AMPA positive allosteric modulator (pam) with high activity, low toxicity, and slow metabolism, was considered to be a perfect 18 F-labeled candidate for positron emission tomography (PET) AD diagnostic investigations. For the preclinical use of this compound, an automated synthesis avoiding human radiation exposure was developed. The detailed production of [ 18 F]BPAM121 in relatively high quantity using a commercial FASTlab synthesizer from GE Healthcare coupled with a full set of quality controls is presented, along with procedures for the synthesis of the tosylated precursor and the fluorinated reference. To evaluate the clinical usefulness of [ 18 F]BPAM121 as a potential AD diagnostic, some in vivo studies in mice were then realized, alongside blocking and competition studies. © 2019 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim [less ▲]

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See detailQuantification of [18F]UCB-H Binding in the Rat Brain: From Kinetic Modelling to Standardised Uptake Value
Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULiege; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULiege; Becker, Guillaume ULiege et al

in Molecular Imaging and Biology (2018)

Purpose: [18F]UCB-H is a specific positron emission tomography (PET) biomarker for the Synaptic Vesicle protein 2A (SV2A), the binding site of the antiepileptic drug levetiracetam. With a view to ... [more ▼]

Purpose: [18F]UCB-H is a specific positron emission tomography (PET) biomarker for the Synaptic Vesicle protein 2A (SV2A), the binding site of the antiepileptic drug levetiracetam. With a view to optimising acquisition time and simplifying data analysis with this radiotracer, we compared two parameters: the distribution volume (Vt) obtained from Logan graphical analysis using a Population-Based Input Function, and the Standardised Uptake Value (SUV). Procedures: Twelve Sprague Dawley male rats, pre-treated with three different doses of levetiracetam were employed to develop the methodology. Three additional kainic acid (KA) treated rats (temporal lobe epilepsy model) were also used to test the procedure. Image analyses focused on: (i) length of the dynamic acquisition (90 versus 60 min); (ii) correlations between Vt and SUV over 20-min consecutive time-frames; (iii) and (iv) evaluation of differences between groups using the Vt and the SUV; and (v) preliminary evaluation of the methodology in the KA epilepsy model. Results: A large correlation between the Vt issued from 60 to 90-min acquisitions was observed. Further analyses highlighted a large correlation (r 9 0.8) between the Vt and the SUV. Equivalent differences between groups were detected for both parameters, especially in the 20–40 and 40– 60-min time-frames. The same results were also obtained with the epilepsy model. Conclusions: Our results enable the acquisition setting to be changed from a 90-min dynamic to a 20-min static PET acquisition. According to a better image quality, the 20–40-min time-frame appears optimal. Due to its equivalence to the Vt, the SUV parameter can be considered in order to quantify [18F]UCB-H uptake in the rat brain. This work, therefore, establishes a starting point for the simplification of SV2A in vivo quantification with [18F]UCB-H, and represents a step forward to the clinical application of this PET radiotracer. [less ▲]

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See detailTHE SV2A PROTEIN: IMAGING SYNAPTIC DENSITY DURING THE PROGRESSION OF THE TEMPORAL LOBE EPILEPSY IN THE KASE RAT MODEL
Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULiege; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULiege; Becker, Guillaume ULiege et al

Poster (2018, October 18)

Introduction The temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common epileptic disorder. New antiepileptic drugs target the Synaptic Vesicle protein 2A (SV2A) (1). Nevertheless, the prevailing literature ... [more ▼]

Introduction The temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common epileptic disorder. New antiepileptic drugs target the Synaptic Vesicle protein 2A (SV2A) (1). Nevertheless, the prevailing literature addressing the relation between this protein and the epilepsy is limited (2, 3). This study provides insights on the role of the SV2A protein during the four stages of TLE (4, 5), throughout its in vivo study with the [18F]UCB-H radiotracer (6). Methods Twenty-four male Sprague-Dawley were subjected to multiple injections (7) of i) Saline (Sham), or ii) 5mg/kg of Kainic Acid (KA). The rats not reacting to KA (NKA) were also scanned. In each TLE stages, a [18F]UCB-H dynamic scan was performed, followed by a T2-structural MRI. EEG recordings were performed to determine the number of crises. Data processing was done with PMOD 3.6. Results were expressed as SUV and statistically analyzed with the SPSS and the SPM. Results During the acute phase, statistically significant differences were found between Sham and KA in striatum, cerebellum, and medulla. In the latent phase, these SUV differences were detected between the NKA and KA in the same regions along with hippocampus and thalamus. When the spontaneous crises started, these group differences became statistically significant in all the regions but the cortex. During the chronic phase, all the regions showed statistically significant differences between groups. Furthermore, the voxel-wise analysis highlighted statistically significant differences in voxels at the level of amygdala and hippocampus. Conclusions These results show that [18F]UCB-H is able to detect early modifications in SV2A expression (3 days after the TLE model creation), in particular in regions implicated in the epileptic process. This radiotracer can potentially be used as a suitable biomarker for the early detection of the epileptic disease, being able to distinguish between stages in this neurodegenerative disease. [less ▲]

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See detailEPILEPSY AND THE SV2A PROTEIN: new insights about the disease.
Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULiege; Raedt, Robrecht; Becker, Guillaume ULiege et al

Conference (2018, September 13)

Around two million of people worldwide are affected by neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer, Parkinson or Epilepsy. Despite the social and the economic impact of these diseases, their causes ... [more ▼]

Around two million of people worldwide are affected by neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer, Parkinson or Epilepsy. Despite the social and the economic impact of these diseases, their causes still remain unclear. In the case of the epilepsy, for example, around 25% of the patients suffer drug-resistant epilepsy, for which there is no medicament able to mitigate the epileptic crises or the associated symptomatology, such as cognitive problems and mood disorders. In 1974, UCB Pharma synthetized a new antiepileptic drug with a high therapeutic index: the Levetiracetam. The target of this medicament is the Synaptic Vesicle Protein 2A (SV2A) whose specific role in the pathology is still unknown. The main goal of my thesis is to better understand the relationship between this protein and the epilepsy. On the one hand, the production and phenotyping of conditional knockout mice for the SV2A protein allowed us to discover a possible implication of this protein in the spatial memory and anxiety process, an important part of the epileptic symptomatology. On the other hand, the synthesis of the radiotracer [18F]UCB-H, with a high affinity for the SV2A protein, enabled the in vivo evaluation (with the mPET technique) of a rat model of the temporal lobe epilepsy through the disease process. Results showed a strong correlation between the severity of the epilepsy (EEG technique) and the SV2A levels in different brain regions, highlighting the importance of this protein in the development of the disease. In summary, although further studies in humans are necessary, this protein emerges as an important key in clinical diagnosis and medical research, being implicated in all the aspects of the epileptic disease. [less ▲]

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See detailEPILEPSY AND THE SV2A PROTEIN: new insights about the disease.
Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULiege; Raedt, Robrecht; Becker, Guillaume ULiege et al

Conference (2018, September 13)

Around two million of people worldwide are affected by neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer, Parkinson or Epilepsy. Despite the social and the economic impact of these diseases, their causes ... [more ▼]

Around two million of people worldwide are affected by neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer, Parkinson or Epilepsy. Despite the social and the economic impact of these diseases, their causes still remain unclear. In the case of the epilepsy, for example, around 25% of the patients suffer drug-resistant epilepsy, for which there is no medicament able to mitigate the epileptic crises or the associated symptomatology, such as cognitive problems and mood disorders. In 1974, UCB Pharma synthetized a new antiepileptic drug with a high therapeutic index: the Levetiracetam. The target of this medicament is the Synaptic Vesicle Protein 2A (SV2A) whose specific role in the pathology is still unknown. The main goal of my thesis is to better understand the relationship between this protein and the epilepsy. On the one hand, the production and phenotyping of conditional knockout mice for the SV2A protein allowed us to discover a possible implication of this protein in the spatial memory and anxiety process, an important part of the epileptic symptomatology. On the other hand, the synthesis of the radiotracer [18F]UCB-H, with a high affinity for the SV2A protein, enabled the in vivo evaluation (with the mPET technique) of a rat model of the temporal lobe epilepsy through the disease process. Results showed a strong correlation between the severity of the epilepsy (EEG technique) and the SV2A levels in different brain regions, highlighting the importance of this protein in the development of the disease. In summary, although further studies in humans are necessary, this protein emerges as an important key in clinical diagnosis and medical research, being implicated in all the aspects of the epileptic disease. [less ▲]

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See detail[18F]UCB-H BINDING QUANTIFICATION IN RAT BRAIN: FROM MODELLING TO SUV
Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULiege; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULiege; Becker, Guillaume ULiege et al

Poster (2018, March 22)

Introduction Image quantification in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is usually achieved through the invasive and sometimes infeasible arterial blood sampling [1, 2]. Alternative methods have been ... [more ▼]

Introduction Image quantification in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is usually achieved through the invasive and sometimes infeasible arterial blood sampling [1, 2]. Alternative methods have been proposed, but a validation of their results is necessary [3, 4]. In the scope of improving the use of [18F]UCB-H, a specific biomarker for the Synaptic Vesicle protein 2A (SV2A) [5, 6, 7, 8], we have compared the distribution volume (VT) obtained through full kinetic modelling using a Population Based Input Function (PBIF) [9], and the Standardized Uptake Value (SUV). Methods Twelve Sprague Dawley male rats were pre-treated with vehicle (saline), 1 or 10 mg/kg of SV2A ligand (Keppra®, IP). Thirty minutes later, [18F]UCB-H was injected (IV) and a 90 min microPET dynamic acquisition was started followed by a T2 structural MRI. Primary image analysis was focused in examining tracer measurement stability through 10 min time windows. Subsequently, we calculated the correlation between VT (90 minutes) and SUV values over consecutive 20-minute time frames searching for the optimal frame to perform a static acquisition [10]. Finally, we did a supplementary test-retest static acquisition, from 60 to 80 minutes, in order to test group differences in SUV. Results/Discussion Evaluation of ten minutes time windows showed more stability in VT than in SUV measures, for all the groups. This change in signal seems to decrease in late time frames. We found also a strong correlation (R2>0.6) between dynamic VT and twenty minutes frame SUV, especially between 20 min and 60 min. From this, we can infer that an optimal frame to perform a static acquisition with [18F]UCB-H would be between 50 and 80 minutes. Using a static acquisition from 60 to 80 minutes, the SUV highlighted statistically significant differences between the group injected with vehicle and the other groups (p<0.01), but not between groups pre-treated with 1mg/kg and 10mg/kg of Keppra®. Conclusions Our work shows that a strong correlation between the SUV and the VT parameter based on a PBIF does exist. This opens the way to a possible simplification for SV2A in vivo imaging with [18F]UCB-H. Despite the fact that SUV is affected by many factors [11] and that it can overestimate results relative to VT [10], it is able to detect important differences in SV2A expression. Based on these results, SUV could become an interesting and easy to obtain parameter to study group differences in the context of several diseases. References 1. Acton PD et al. Radiologic Clinics of North America. 2004; 42(6):1055. 2. Kinahan PE & Fletcher JW. Seminars in Ultrasound, CT and MRI 2010; 31(6): 496. 3. Heurling K et al. Brain Res. 2017; 1670:220. 4. Tomasi G et al. Molecular Imaging and Biology. 2012; 14(2):131. 5. Bretin F et al. EJNMMI res. 2013; 3(1):35. 6. Warnock GI et al. J Nucl Med. 2014; 55(8):1336. 7. Bretin F et al. Molecular Imaging and Biology. 2015; 17(4):557. 8. Salmon E et al. Alzheimer's & Dementia. 2017; 13(7):781. 9. Becker G et al. Molecular Pharmaceutics. 2017; 14(8):2719. 10. Lockhart SN et al. PLoS One. 2016; 11(6):e0158460. 11. Boellaard R. J Nucl Med. 2009; 50(Suppl 1):11S-20S. Acknowledgement This work was funded by University of Liège, F.R.S.-FNRS, Walloon Region and UCB Pharma. Alain Plenevaux is research director from F.R.S.-FNRS. [less ▲]

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See detailNOTA‐PRGD2 and NODAGA‐PRGD2: Bioconjugation, characterization, radiolabelling, and design space
Salvé, Mallory ULiege; Avohou, Tonakpon Hermane ULiege; Monbaliu, Jean-Christophe ULiege et al

in Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals (2018), 61

This work reports on the development of amide bond bioconjugation for the production of ‐NOTA and ‐NODAGA PRGD2 using batch strategy andmicrofluidic reactor technology. The final radiolabelling step was ... [more ▼]

This work reports on the development of amide bond bioconjugation for the production of ‐NOTA and ‐NODAGA PRGD2 using batch strategy andmicrofluidic reactor technology. The final radiolabelling step was fully optimized using Design of Experiments and Design Space approaches, hence targeting robust labelling yields in routine. Optimal labelling conditions were defined insodium acetate buffer as 168 μg/mL peptide concentration, 4.9 pH, 47.5°C temperature, and 12.5‐minute reaction time. Upon optimization, the Gallium‐68 radiolabelling was fully automated. All the work was designed to be compliant to the GMP environment and to support the pharmaceuticalscale‐up. [less ▲]

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See detailProgress in lanthionine and protected lanthionine synthesis
Denoël, Thibaut ULiege; Lemaire, Christian ULiege; Luxen, André ULiege

in Chemistry (2018)

: Lanthionine (Lan), a non-proteinogenic natural amino acid, is an essential component of peptidoglycan found in the cell wall of Fusobacterium species. Lan and -methyllanthionine are also key ... [more ▼]

: Lanthionine (Lan), a non-proteinogenic natural amino acid, is an essential component of peptidoglycan found in the cell wall of Fusobacterium species. Lan and -methyllanthionine are also key constituents in lantibiotics, a prevalent class of peptide antibiotics. The development of those new antibacterial drugs with enhanced properties is the focus of recent research. Since multiple isomers of Lan are possible, a regio- and diastereoselective synthesis is challenging. This comprehensive review summarizes the known chemical syntheses of lanthionine from various precursors (e.g., -chloroalanine, cystine, dehydroalanine, -iodoalanine, aziridine, serine lactone, sulfamidate) since 1941. Methods for preparation of unprotected, protected, orthogonally protected, and mutually orthogonally protected lanthionine with relevant experimental details and perspectives on their usefulness are provided. The potential of these Lan derivatives is illustrated by one recent application. This review includes 102 references. [less ▲]

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See detailSv2a protein levels in the kainic acid epilepsy rat model during the acute phase
Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULiege; Becker, Guillaume ULiege; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULiege et al

in Epilepsia (2017, December), 58(Supplement S5), 1225

Introduction The Kaïnic Acid model (KA) is one of the most validated models of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) (Lévesque et al.,2016). Its administration induces status epilepticus (SE), characterized by an ... [more ▼]

Introduction The Kaïnic Acid model (KA) is one of the most validated models of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) (Lévesque et al.,2016). Its administration induces status epilepticus (SE), characterized by an extensive neuronal damage in limbic structures (Sperk et al.,1983). Post-mortem studies, such as the epilepsy model presented in (Wang et al., 2014), show a reduction of SV2A protein levels during the chronic phase, however, no data have been reported during the acute phase (0-48h after KA injection).. The present pilot study is undertaken to evaluate in vivo, with the specific radiotracer [18F]UCB-H (Bretin et al., 2015; Warnock et al., 2014), the SV2A expression 24h after a SE produced by KA administration. Methods Two Sprague-Dawley rats were scanned at two different times: baseline, and 24h after three systemic injections of 5mg/kg KA. The scanning process consisted of a first scan with microPET (Focus 120), during 1 hour, using [18F]UCB-H (41 ± 5 MBq IV tail vein). This is followed by MRI (9.4T Agilent, anatomical T2). A coregistration was performed with PMOD 3.6 software. Data were expressed as SUV and AUC were calculated for the different brain regions. Results [18F]UCB-H microPET images exhibited a small reduction (around 10%) in SV2A brain levels after KA injections compared to the baseline, marked in thalamus, hippocampus and amygdale. MRI images obtained 24h after KA injections are in accordance with previous histological studies, revealing inflammatory edema, tissue necrosis and increased ventricle volume (Sperk et al.,1983). Conclusions These preliminary results obtained in KA treated rats show that [18F]UCB-H is able to detect alterations in SV2A levels in relevant regions for epilepsy. This radiotracer emerges as a valuable tool to follow in vivo SV2A through longitudinal studies. KA model in rats deserves as a tool for the study of epilepsy, exhibiting the same features than the human disease. References [1] Lévesque et al., J Neurosci Methods, 2016 [2] Sperk et al., Neuroscience, 1983 [3] Wang et al., J Mol Neurosci., 2014 [4] Bretin et al., Molecular Imaging and Biology, 2015 [5] Warnock et al., J Nucl Med., 2014 [5] Van Nieuwenhuyse et al., Brain Research, 2015 [6] Hellier et al., Epilepsy Res., 1998 [less ▲]

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See detailDesign and Synthesis of [18F]BPAM121, a PET-Probe Targeting AMPA-subtype Glutamatergic Receptors.
Manos-Turvey, Alexandra ULiege; Lemaire, Christian ULiege; Becker, Guillaume ULiege et al

Poster (2017, August)

AMPA receptors (AMPARs), one of three sub-groups of ionotropic glutamate receptors present in the central nervous system, are recognised for their involvement in long-term potentiation (LTP), and learning ... [more ▼]

AMPA receptors (AMPARs), one of three sub-groups of ionotropic glutamate receptors present in the central nervous system, are recognised for their involvement in long-term potentiation (LTP), and learning and memory processes. [1] They represent a valid cognitive enhancer target, particularly in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease (AD). [2,3] Benzothiadiazine 1,1-dioxides, such as BPAM121, have emerged as important allosteric modulators of AMPARs, working solely in the presence of the endogenous transmitter. [4] Synthesis of BPAM121 labelled with fluorine-18 was proposed, to investigate the utility of this molecule as a PET probe in vivo, and evaluate its potential as an AD diagnostic tool (Figure 1). [Figure 1. a) Structure of BPAM121, b) Established radiochemical synthesis of [18F]BPAM121.] This work documents the successful optimization of synthesis, purification and formulation of [18F]BPAM121 using an automated FASTlab (GE Healthcare) synthesizer. In particular, the influence of higher-level [18F]fluoride ion starting concentrations on final product formulation requirements is discussed. Initial results revealed [18F]BPAM121 successfully passes the blood brain barrier, and further biological studies are currently underway. References [1] S. F. Traynelis et al. Pharmacol. Rev. 2010, 62, 405-496. 
 [2] J. Keifer, Z. Zheng, Eur. J. Neurosci. 2010, 32, 269-277. 
 [3] L. Gao et al. J. Neurochem. 2016, 136, 620-636. 
 [4] P. Francotte et al. J. Med. Chem. 2010, 53, 1700-1711. 
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See detailRegiospecific radiolabelling of Nanofitin on Ni Magnetic Beads with [18F]FBEM and in vivo PET studies
Dammicco, Sylvestre ULiege; Goux, Marine; Lemaire, Christian ULiege et al

in Nuclear Medicine and Biology (2017)

Introduction: Nanofitins are low molecular weight, single chain and cysteine-free protein scaffolds able to selectively bind a defined biological target. They derive from Sac7d bacterial protein family ... [more ▼]

Introduction: Nanofitins are low molecular weight, single chain and cysteine-free protein scaffolds able to selectively bind a defined biological target. They derive from Sac7d bacterial protein family and are highly stable over a wide range of pH (0-13) and temperature (Tm ~80°C). Their extreme stability, low cost of production and high tolerability for chemical coupling make Nanofitins a very interesting alternative to antibodies and their fragments. Here, a hexahistidine tagged model Nanofitin (H4) directed against hen egg white lysozyme was radiolabelled and injected in mice to provide a baseline biodistribution and pharmacokinetic profiles to support future Nanofitin development programs. Method: A single cysteine residue has been genetically inserted in a model Nanofitin and its regioselective radiolabelling has been performed with 4-[18F]fluorobenzamido-N-ethylamino-maleimide ([18F]FBEM). The synthesis of [18F]FBEM has been completely implemented on a radiosynthesis unit (FastLab) including HPLC purification and formulation. Coupling with the [18F]FBEM has been achieved on a solid support (Ni magnetic beads) allowing rapid purification at room temperature without organic solvent. PET-MRI studies on C57BL/6 mice were conducted after injection of [18F]FBEM-Cys-H4 in order to access the biodistribution of this Nanofitin model. Results: Radiochemical yield (decay corrected) of 54±7% (n=4) was obtained after optimization for coupling the [18F]FBEM to Nanofitin. Pharmacokinetics results of [18F]FBEM-Cys-H4 revealed a fast clearance through the liver and the kidneys. Conclusion: An efficient new method on Ni magnetic beads was developed to radiolabelled his-tagged biomolecules with [18F]FBEM. This procedure was applied on a Nanofitin model Cys-H4 and biodistribution kinetic studies were achieved to evaluate the potential use of Nanofitin for diagnostic imaging. Fast clearance indicates that Nanofitins represent very interesting tools for diagnostic imaging. [less ▲]

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See detailPharmacokinetic characterization of [18F]UCB-H PET radiopharmaceutical in the rat brain.
Becker, Guillaume ULiege; Warnier, Corentin; Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULiege et al

in Molecular Pharmaceutics (2017), 14(8), 2719-2725

The synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A), a protein essential to the proper nervous system function, is found in presynaptic vesicles. Thus, SV2A targeting, using dedicated radiotracers combined with ... [more ▼]

The synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A), a protein essential to the proper nervous system function, is found in presynaptic vesicles. Thus, SV2A targeting, using dedicated radiotracers combined with positron emission tomography (PET), allows the assessment of synaptic density in the living brain. The first-in-class fluorinated SV2A specific radioligand, [18F]UCB-H, is now available at high-activity through an efficient radiosynthesis compliant with the current good manufacturing practices (cGMP). We report here a non-invasive method to quantify [18F]UCB-H binding in rat brain with microPET. Validation study in rats confirmed the need of high enantiomeric purity to target SV2A in vivo. We demonstrated the reliability of a population-based input function to quantify SV2A in preclinical microPET setting. Finally, we investigated the in vivo metabolism of [18F]UCB-H and confirmed the negligible amount of radiometabolites in the rat brain. Hence, the in vivo quantification of SV2A using [18F]UCB-H microPET seems a promising tool for the assessment of the synaptic density in the rat brain, and opens the way for longitudinal follow-up in neurodegenerative diseases rodents’ models. [less ▲]

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See detail[18F]BPAM121: An AMPAR Modulator with Potential as a PET Probe
Manos-Turvey, Alexandra ULiege; Lemaire, Christian ULiege; Deverdenne, François et al

Poster (2017, June)

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See detailComparative assessment of 6-[18F]fluoro-L-m-tyrosine and 6-[18F]fluoro-L-dopa to evaluate dopaminergic presynaptic integrity in a Parkinson’s disease rat model.
Becker, Guillaume ULiege; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULiege; Michel, Anne et al

in Journal of Neurochemistry (2017), 141

Because of the progressive loss of nigro-striatal dopaminergic terminals in Parkinson’s disease (PD), in vivo quantitative imaging of dopamine (DA) containing neurons in animal models of PD is of critical ... [more ▼]

Because of the progressive loss of nigro-striatal dopaminergic terminals in Parkinson’s disease (PD), in vivo quantitative imaging of dopamine (DA) containing neurons in animal models of PD is of critical importance in the pre-clinical evaluation of highly awaited disease-modifying therapies. Among existing methods, the high sensitivity of positron emission tomography (PET) is attractive to achieve that goal. The aim of this study was to perform a quantitative comparison of brain images obtained in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesioned rats using two dopaminergic PET radiotracers, namely [18F]fluoro-3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-L-alanine ([18F]FDOPA) and 6-[18F]fluoro-L-m-tyrosine ([18F]FMT). Because the imaging signal is theoretically less contaminated by metabolites, we hypothesized that the latter would show stronger relationship with behavioural and post-mortem measures of striatal dopaminergic deficiency. We used a within-subject design to measure striatal [18F]FMT and [18F]FDOPA uptake in eight partially lesioned, eight fully lesioned and ten sham-treated rats. Animals were pretreated with an L-aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) inhibitor. A catechol-O-methyl transferase inhibitor was also given before [18F]FDOPA PET. Quantitative estimates of striatal uptake were computed using conventional graphical Patlak method. Striatal dopaminergic deficiencies were measured with apomorphine-induced rotations and post-mortem striatal DA content. We observed a strong relationship between [18F]FMT and [18F]FDOPA estimates of decreased uptake in the denervated striatum using the tissue-derived uptake rate constant Kc. However, only [18F]FMT Kc succeeded to discriminate between the partial and the full 6-OHDA lesion and correlated well with the post-mortem striatal DA content. This study indicates that the [18F]FMT could be more sensitive, with respect of [18F]FDOPA, to investigate DA terminals loss in 6-OHDA rats, and open the way to in vivo AADC activity targeting in future investigations on progressive PD models. [less ▲]

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See detailFunctional correlates of the protective effects of free wheel-running against cocaine psychomotor sensitization on dopamine D2 receptors: a [18F]Fallypride microPET study.
Becker, Guillaume ULiege; Lespine, Louis-Ferdinand ULiege; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULiege et al

Conference (2017, April 05)

Preclinical studies suggest that free access to a running wheel can attenuate the behavioural responsiveness to addictive drugs in rodents. Regarding the behavioural responsiveness to drugs, psychomotor ... [more ▼]

Preclinical studies suggest that free access to a running wheel can attenuate the behavioural responsiveness to addictive drugs in rodents. Regarding the behavioural responsiveness to drugs, psychomotor sensitization has an integral role in the process of drug addiction in craving and relapse (Steketee and Kalivas, 2011). Free wheel-running was recently shown to be efficacious at preventing the initiation or the long-term expression of psychomotor sensitization to cocaine in mice or rats (Diaz et al., 2013; Geuzaine and Tirelli, 2014). In the present study, we investigated the neuro-functional correlates of the protection against psychomotor sensitization to cocaine afforded by free wheel-running on dopaminergic neurotransmission, using microPET imaging with [18F]Fallypride, a Dopamine 2 receptor (D2R) antagonist. We used a total of 32 female C57BL/6J mice. At 28 days of age, the mice were randomly assigned to on of the two experimental housing conditions, defined by the presence or the absence of a running wheel in the cage (pre-testing period: 6 weeks). Since mice from the two types of housing received either saline or cocaine (8 mg/kg, i.p.) during testing (9 days), a basic 2*2 factorial design was generated (two-way ANOVA). The whole experimentation lasted 85 days, included the 42-days pre-testing period and the 3 weeks (housing condition, no injection) between the testing and the long-term expression of sensitization (LTES). All mice underwent a microPET (Focus 120, Siemens) the day after the LTES. The microPET protocol consisted of a 60 min. dynamic acquisition after the injection of 10 MBq of [18F]Fallypride in the tail vein. We observe a strong attenuating effect of exercise on the expression of sensitization to cocaine (Effect Size = 2.66 at p < .001 one-tailed, N.B: Effect Size is the mean difference in standard deviation units). Regarding the microPET outcomes ([18F]Fallypride Binding Potential, BP), we have a significant increase of the [18F]Fallypride BP for the cocaine-treated mice, compared to the saline-injected mice (Effect Size = 0.78 at p = .02 one-tailed). We observe a decrease tendency of the [18F]Fallypride BP in the exercise condition compared to the sedentary condition (ES = 0.48 at p = .09 one-tailed). These findings indicate that LTES is associated with an increase of the [18F]Fallypride BP in the mouse striatum, probably reflecting an increase in postsynaptic D2R density in this region. Besides that, the protecting effect of free running on psychomotor sensitization goes together with a decrease in D2R density in the striatum of exercised mice. Those data will be augmented with identical sub-experiment. All data will be pooled together to reach a total number of 64 mice (n = 16 per group). [less ▲]

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See detailNoninvasive quantification of [18F]UCB-H binding using microPET and population-based input function.
Becker, Guillaume ULiege; Warnier, C; Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULiege et al

Poster (2017, February 19)

Introduction: [18F]UCB-H is a validated radiotracer with a high affinity for the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A), known as the binding site of the antiepileptic drug levetiracetam [1, 2]. Due to ... [more ▼]

Introduction: [18F]UCB-H is a validated radiotracer with a high affinity for the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A), known as the binding site of the antiepileptic drug levetiracetam [1, 2]. Due to the absence of reference region, the major drawback of SV2A microPET imaging in the living rat brain is the invasiveness and the complexity of the arterial input function measurement needed for a full quantification. We provide here evaluation of a population-based input function (PBIF) to estimate input function of [18F]UCB-H. Methods: Standard arterial input functions were measured with an arteriovenous shunt and a β-microprobe system from eight anesthetized Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats, as previously described [2]. The distribution volume (Vt) for [18F]UCB-H was calculated with Logan graphic analysis. After normalization, all individual AIFs were averaged to provide the PBIF, and the Logan graphical analysis was computed on each individual rat using the PBIF instead of individual AIF. Correlations analyses were computed between Vt obtained with each methods (individual AIF vs PBIF). Finally, another cohort of five SD rats was scanned with [18F]UCB-H, and Vt were computed using the PBIF and Logan analysis. Single blood samples were harvested at 15 min after radiotracer injection, just to ensure the consistency of the metabolic parent fraction. Results: The Vt computed with individual AIFs were higly consistent with previously reported values, so are the Vt computed with the PBIF [2]. Individual AIFs Vt and PBIF Vt are highly correlated through all brain areas for the height subjects (r2 =0.9). Coefficients of variance are slightly higher with the PBIF method compare to the individual AIF method (14 % and 9 % respectively for the whole brain). Finally, Vt measurement in the second cohort were consistent with previously reported values, and the metabolization profile matched the parent fraction described by Warnock and coll. [2]. Conclusions: The present study described a method for the noninvasive estimation of the AIF using a PBIF, carrying a potential that might substitute for conventional invasive, indivi- dual AIF measurement. We propose that this method can provide a reasonable solution for longitudinal quantitative [18F]UCB-H microPET studies. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluating the specificity of [18F] UCB-H for the isoform SV2A, compared with isoforms SV2B and SV2C
Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULiege; Becker, Guillaume ULiege; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULiege et al

Poster (2017, February 01)

Background: SV2A is the most studied isoform of the Synaptic Vesicle 2 proteins, which are involved in the synaptic vesicle trafficking, being important in normal and pathological process, like the ... [more ▼]

Background: SV2A is the most studied isoform of the Synaptic Vesicle 2 proteins, which are involved in the synaptic vesicle trafficking, being important in normal and pathological process, like the epilepsy (1, 2). [18F]UCB-H was developed like a tool to study the role of this isoform with neuroimaging techniques (3, 4). The objective of this study was to evaluate its specificity to this isoform comparing with the others, through a competition assay in rats with ex-vivo autoradiography and mPET imaging. Methods: Forty male Sprague-Dawley were used in ex-vivo autoradiography experiments (N=20) and in microPET imaging (N=20). Animals were pre-treated 30 minutes before the injection of [18F]UCB-H with a dose IP either of vehicle, Keppra (SV2A ligand), UCB068 (SV2B ligand) or UCB054 (SV2C ligand). Ex-vivo autoradiography was carried out 5 minutes after radiotracer injection while mPET images were acquiring with a dynamic scanner of 1 hour. Data were expressed in Standard Uptake Value and then, the area under the curve was calculated for the total process. Results: In ex-vivo autoradiography, ANOVA of two-ways showed statistical significant differences in brain uptake of [18F]UCB-H among the groups pretreated with Keppra or the ligand for SV2B and the control group. Regarding mPET data, statistical significant differences were found between the group injected with keppra and the rest of groups. Conclusion: Even if a considerable affinity between the ligands UCB068 and UCB054, and the receptor for the isoform SV2A exists, it is only detected during the first 5 minutes (ex-vivo technique), being certainly due to a nonspecific binding. This binding is not strong enough to show a direct competition with the radiotracer during a mPET acquisition. These results allow us to conclude that [18F]UCB-H is a suitable radiotracer for the imaging of the isoform SV2A in vivo, allowing us the clinical study about the molecular base of a disease with a high population impact, like the epilepsy. [less ▲]

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