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The loss of mitochondrial function has been implicated in a number of maladies such as Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease (PD), cancer and cardiovascular disease. The objective of this research was to develop a radiolabeled mitochondrial probe. Two tracers, 7'-Z-iodorotenol and 7'-Z-iodorotenone, analogs of rotenone a natural product that inhibits Complex I of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, have been labeled with iodine-125 in 45-85% yield in a single step from the corresponding tributylstannyl precursor. In vivo distribution in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats for both compounds showed high accumulation in the heart (1.7-3.7 %ID/g at 1 h), a tissue with high mitochondrial content. Z-Iodorotenol did not washout of most tissues between 1 and 2 h postinjection, whereas Z-iodorotenone showed moderate washout (7-26%) over the same period. By 24 h, there was significant loss of both compounds from most tissues including the heart. Heart-to-blood, -lung and -liver ratios for Z-iodorotenone of 28.9, 10.7 and 2.4, respectively, were two- to fourfold higher than the Z-iodorotenol ratios. Compared to the current clinical perfusion tracers, 99mTc-sestamibi and 99mTc-tetrofosmin, Z-iodorotenone demonstrates similar 1 h heart accumulation and significantly higher heart-to-lung ratio (P<.001). Z-Iodorotenone heart-to-liver ratio is equivalent to 99mTc-sestamibi. 7'-Z-Iodorotenone possesses distribution characteristics of an improved tracer for SPECT perfusion studies.


Henry F VanBrocklin, Stephen M Hanrahan, Joel D Enas, Erathodiyil Nandanan, James P O'Neil. Mitochondrial avid radioprobes. Preparation and evaluation of 7'(Z)-[125I]iodorotenone and 7'(Z)-[125I]iodorotenol. Nuclear medicine and biology. 2007 Jan;34(1):109-16

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PMID: 17210467

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