Various types of zinc (Zn) complexes have been developed as promising antidiabetic agents in recent years. However, the pharmacological action of Zn complex is not elucidated because the biodistribution of the complex in a living organism has not been studied. Nuclear medicine imaging is superior technology for the noninvasive analysis of the temporal distribution of drug candidates in living organisms. Gamma-ray emission imaging (GREI), which was developed by our laboratory as a novel molecular imaging modality, was adopted to visualize various γ-ray-emitting radionuclides that are not detected by conventional imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography and single-photon emission computed tomography. Therefore, we applied GREI to a biodistribution assay of Zn complexes. In the present study, 65Zn was produced in the natCu(p,n) reaction in an azimuthal varying field cyclotron for the GREI experiment. The distribution was then noninvasively visualized using GREI after the intravenous administration of a 65Zn-labeled di(1-oxy-2-pyridinethiolato)zinc [Zn(opt)2], ZnCl2, and di(l-histidinato)zinc. The GREI images were validated using conventional invasive assays. This novel study showed that GREI is a powerful tool for the biodistribution analysis of antidiabetic Zn complexes in a living organism. In addition, accumulation of 65Zn in the cardiac blood pool was observed for [Zn(opt)2], which exhibits potent antidiabetic activity. These results suggest that the slow elimination of Zn from the blood is correlated to the antidiabetic activity of [Zn(opt)2].
- Zn-labeled Zn complex
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