Imaging the TGFβ type I receptor in pulmonary arterial hypertension

Lonneke Rotteveel*, Alex J. Poot, Esther J. M. Kooijman, Robert C. Schuit, Ingrid Schalij, Xiaoqing Sun, Kondababu Kurakula, Chris Happé, Wissam Beaino, Peter ten Dijke, Adriaan A. Lammertsma, Harm Jan Bogaard, Albert D. Windhorst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) activity is perturbed in remodelled pulmonary vasculature of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), cancer, vascular diseases and developmental disorders. Inhibition of TGFβ, which signals via activin receptor-like kinase 5 (ALK5), prevents progression and development of experimental PAH. The purpose of this study was to assess two ALK5 targeting positron emission tomography (PET) tracers ([11C]LR111 and [18F]EW-7197) for imaging ALK5 in monocrotaline (MCT)- and Sugen/hypoxia (SuHx)-induced PAH. Both tracers were subjected to extensive in vitro and in vivo studies. [11C]LR111 showed the highest metabolic stability, as 46 ± 2% of intact tracer was still present in rat blood plasma after 60 min. In autoradiography experiments, [11C]LR111 showed high ALK5 binding in vitro compared with controls, 3.2 and 1.5 times higher in SuHx and MCT, respectively. In addition, its binding could be blocked by SB431542, an adenosine triphosphate competitive ALK5 kinase inhibitor. However, [18F]EW-7197 showed the best in vivo results. 15 min after injection, uptake was 2.5 and 1.4 times higher in the SuHx and MCT lungs, compared with controls. Therefore, [18F]EW-7197 is a promising PET tracer for ALK5 imaging in PAH.
Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalEJNMMI Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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