Ceramide levels are increased in blood and brain tissue of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Since the ceramide transporter protein (CERT) is the only known protein able to mediate non-vesicular transfer of ceramide between organelle membranes, the modulation of CERT function may impact on ceramide accumulation. The competitive CERT inhibitor N-(3-hydroxy-1-hydroxymethyl-3-phenylpropyl) dodecanamide (HPA-12) interferes with ceramide trafficking. To understand the role of ceramide/CERT in AD, HPA-12 can be a useful tool to modulate ceramide trafficking. Here we first report the synthesis and in vitro properties of HPA-12 radiolabeled with fluorine-18 and present preliminary in vitro and in vivo positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and biodistribution data. In vitro results demonstrated that the fluorination did not alter the biological properties of HPA-12 since the [fluorine-19]HPA-12, interferes with 5-DMB-ceramide trafficking in HeLa cells. Radiolabeled HPA-12, [fluorine-18]HPA-12, was obtained with a radiochemical yield of 90 and a specific activity of 73 MBq/μmol. PET imaging on wild-type mice showed hepatobiliary clearance and a brain uptake on the order of 0.3 standard uptake value (SUV) one hour post injection. Furthermore, the biodistribution data showed that after removal of the blood by intracardial perfusion, radioactivity was still measurable in the brain demonstrating that the [fluorine-18]HPA-12 crosses the blood brain barrier and is retained in the brain.

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Keywords Alzheimers disease, ceramide, ceramide transporter protein CERT, HPA-12
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-161231, hdl.handle.net/1765/102252
Journal Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
Crivelli, S.M. (Simone M.), Paulus, A. (Andreas), Markus, J. (Jozef), Bauwens, M. (Matthias), Berkes, D. (Dusan), de Vries, H.E, … Martínez-Martínez, P. (2017). Synthesis, Radiosynthesis, and Preliminary in vitro and in vivo Evaluation of the Fluorinated Ceramide Trafficking Inhibitor (HPA-12) for Brain Applications. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 60(3), 783–794. doi:10.3233/JAD-161231