Purpose: Chloroquine has demonstrated high affinity for aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1 (ALDH1), an enzyme expressed in the highly tumorigenic CD133+ brain tumor initiating subpopulation. The purpose of this study is to report the novel synthesis of a chloroquine analogue, n.c.a. iodoquine, and the in vitro and in vivo uptake in cells with high ALDH1 content. Methods and Materials: Iodoquine was synthesized in novel no-carrier-added forms (n.c.a.) for both 125I and 123I. I25I IQ and 18F FDG cell uptake assays were performed in the L1210 and L1210cpa (cyclophosphamide resistant), A549, and MG456 glioblastoma cell lines. Uptake was expressed as a percent of the administered activity. 125I IQ biodistribution studies assessed organ uptake at 1, 4, and 24 hours after IV administration (n= 15 total; 5 mice/timepoint). Radiation dosimetry estimates were calculated using standard OLINDA/EXM software. In vivo imaging of 123I IQ uptake in MG456 glioblastoma mouse model (n=10) was performed with small animal high resolution micro-SPECT. Autoradiography and histology co-localized radiotracer and tumor biodistribution. Uptake in MG456 glioblastoma tumors was quantified with gamma counting. Results: L1210 cpa (high ALDH1) showed significantly higher 125I IQ uptake compared to the parental L1210 (low ALDH1) for all time points through 4 hours (20.7% ± 1.4% versus 11.0% ± 0.5%; 21.3% ± 0.9% versus 11.0% ± 0.4%; 20.6% ± 0.7% versus 9.4% ± 0.3%; and 15.7% ± 0.7% versus 7.5% + 0.4% at 30 minutes, and 1, 2 and 4 hours, respectively; p < 0.001 for all time points). In the CD133+ fraction of MG456 glioblastoma cell line, IQ uptake was significantly higher compared to FDG at all time points through 4 hours (81.5% ± 0.9% versus 1.3% ± 0.1%; 88.8% ± 0.4% versus 1.3% ± 0.1%; 87.8% ± 2.1% versus 1.7% ± 0.2%; and 87.0% ± 2.4% versus 1.8% ± 0.1 at 30 minutes, and 1, 2 and 4 hours, respectively; p > 0.001 for all time points). The A549 lung cancer cell line also showed high IQ uptake through 4 hours. IQ normal biodistribution studies showed rapid renal excretion and very low normal background brain activity after IV administration. In vivo micro-SPECT images showed mild uptake in larger MG456 glioblastomas (n=6) as verified with autoradiography and histology. Gamma well counter uptake in large tumors was 2.3% ± 0.48% ID/g (n=5). Conclusion: Iodoquine localizes to cells with high ALDH1 content. Cell assays show high 125I IQ uptake in the MG456 cell line, and in vivo micro-SPECT imaging showed mild 123I IQ uptake in MG456 glioblastomas. Further studies are necessary to investigate 131I IQ as a potential therapeutic agent targeting the highly tumorigenic CD133+ brain tumor stem cell subpopulation.
Keywords: Cancer stem cells, radionuclide imaging, micro-SPECT, iodoquine, stem cells, Aluminum-backed sheets, Octanol-Water Partition Coefficient, SPECT Imaging
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