The humoral immune response to macrocyclic chelating agent DOTA depends on the carrier molecule

M. E. Perico, M. Chinol, A. Nacca, E. Luison, G. Paganelli, S. Canevari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The chelating agent 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N,N′, N″,N‴-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) is used to label monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and peptides with 90Y. DOTA allows the generation of clinically useful stable metallic radioconjugates for the treatment of a variety of tumors, but its immunogenicity has remained controversial. In this study, we evaluated the immune response to DOTA in a preclinical mouse model and in patients entered in a clinical trial. Methods: Sera were obtained from BALB/c mice injected intraperitoneally or subcutaneously with different doses and formulations of syngeneic and xenogeneic mAbs or peptide (murine mAb Mov19 [mM19]; its chimeric version; murine V/human C ChiMov19 [cM19]; or Tyr3-octreotide)-DOTA conjugates. Sera from patients with neuroendocrine tumors, enrolled in a protocol for somatostatin receptor-mediated radionuclide therapy with 90Y-DOTA-D-Phe1-Tyr3-octreotide (DOTATOC), were also collected before and after each treatment. Levels and specificity of antibody response to relevant (Mov19, ChiMov19, or Tyr3-octreotide) and nonrelevant (human serum albumin) DOTA targets were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and competition assays. An anti-DOTA mAb (IgG1) derived from a ChiMov19-DOTA immunized mouse was used, in a competitive radioimmunoassay, to determine the efficiency of DOTA presentation on the different carriers. Results: Depending on the immunogenicity and dosage of the mAb, a specific anti-DOTA response was revealed in the preclinical system. However, DOTA-peptide conjugate induced no immune-detectable response against either chelator or carrier. DOTA was poorly presented on small peptides, as determined using the anti-DOTA mAb. Conclusion: A humoral response against DOTA is possible, but only as a consequence of the response elicited against the carrier. Octreotide was not immunogenic. Thus, 90Y-DOTATOC can be considered a safe and useful tool for receptor-mediated radionuclide therapy of somatostatin receptor-overexpressing tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1697-1703
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Antimacrocyclic antibodies
  • DOTA
  • Immunogenicity
  • Receptor-mediated radionuclide therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'The humoral immune response to macrocyclic chelating agent DOTA depends on the carrier molecule'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this