Evidence of 68 Ga-DOTA-NT-20.3 uptake in pancreatic adenocarcinoma AsPC-1 cell line – In vitro study

Manuela Marenco, Lorenzo Lodola, Marco G. Persico, Vanessa Frangipane, Angelica Facoetti, Carlo Aprile, Marina Hodolič

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Neurotensin receptors are overexpressed in several cancer types including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Three NTR subtypes have been cloned: NTR-1, NTR-2 and NTR-3. The most expressed NTR-1 is not present in normal pancreatic tissue and has a low expression in chronic pancreatitis. Objective: Objective of this study was to test in vitro affinity of the new68 Ga labelled neurotensin analogue DOTA-NT-20.3 (fragment 6-13, Ac-Lys(DOTA)-Pro-Arg(N-CH3 )-Arg-Pro-Tyr-Tle-Leu) on the human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell line AsPC-1. Method: For the preparation of68 Ga-DOTA-NT-20.3,68GaCl3 solution (eluted from68 Ge/68 Ga generator) and 50 µg of precursor (Iason, Graz, Austria) water dissolved were used in an automatic synthesis module. The labeled compound was added to cell culture flask and incubated at 37°C. At various time points after tracer addition up to 80min, cells were recovered, rinsed and counted for radioactivity. Results were expressed as percent binding normalized to 200000 cells and affinity parameters were calculated. Results: Labeling yield was ≥98 %. The molar ratio between labelled and total peptide was about 1/400. AsPC-1 cell line showed rapid uptake of the tracer including surface and internalized binding, tending to a plateau phase 80 min after tracer addition (11%/200.000 cells). The Kd (7.335 pmol) and Bmax (90.52 kBq) value indicated high tracer affinity for AsPC-1cell line especially if compared with the literature data regarding other malignancies (e.g. colonic cancer cell line). Binding sites were 1.09x106 sites per cell. Conclusion: New tracer68 Ga-DOTA-NT-20.3 can be a suitable candidate for the clinical use in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-759
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Ga-NT-DOTA-20.3
  • AsPC-1
  • Neurotensin
  • Neurotensin receptors
  • NT
  • NTR-1
  • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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