18F-FBPA as a tumor-specific probe of L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1): a comparison study with 18F-FDG and 11C-Methionine PET

  • Tadashi WatabeEmail author
  • Hayato Ikeda
  • Shushi Nagamori
  • Pattama Wiriyasermkul
  • Yoko Tanaka
  • Sadahiro Naka
  • Yasukazu Kanai
  • Kohei Hagiwara
  • Masanao Aoki
  • Eku Shimosegawa
  • Yoshikatsu Kanai
  • Jun Hatazawa
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of L-4-borono-2-18F-fluoro-phenylalanine (18F-FBPA) as a tumor-specific probe, in comparison to 18F-FDG and 11C-methionine (Met), focusing on its transport selectivity by L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1), which is highly upregulated in cancers.


Cellular analyses of FBPA were performed to evaluate the transportablity and Km value. PET studies were performed in rat xenograft models of C6 glioma (n = 12) and in rat models of turpentine oil-induced subcutaneous inflammation (n = 9). The kinetic parameters and uptake values on static PET images were compared using the one-tissue compartment model (K1, k2) and maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax).


The cellular analyses showed that FBPA had a lower affinity to a normal cell-type transporter LAT2 and induced less efflux through LAT2 among FBPA, Met, and BPA, while the efflux through LAT1 induced by FBPA was similar among the three compounds. The Km value of 18F-FBPA for LAT1 (196.8 ± 11.4 μM) was dramatically lower than that for LAT2 (2813.8 ± 574.5 μM), suggesting the higher selectivity of 18F-FBPA for LAT1. K1 and k2 values were significantly smaller in 18F-FBPA PET (K1 = 0.04 ± 0.01 ml/ccm/min and k2 = 0.07 ± 0.01 /min) as compared to 11C-Met PET (0.22 ± 0.09 and 0.52 ± 0.10, respectively) in inflammatory lesions. Static PET analysis based on the SUVmax showed significantly higher accumulation of 18F-FDG in the tumor and inflammatory lesions (7.2 ± 2.1 and 4.6 ± 0.63, respectively) as compared to both 18F-FBPA (3.2 ± 0.40 and 1.9 ± 0.19) and 11C-Met (3.4 ± 0.43 and 1.6 ± 0.11). No significant difference was observed between 18F-FBPA and 11C-Met in the static PET images.


This study shows the utility of 18F-FBPA as a tumor-specific probe of LAT1 with low accumulation in the inflammatory lesions.


PET LAT1 Glioma Inflammation Rat model 



We would like to thank all members of the PET Drug Synthesis Department in Osaka University Hospital for the preparation of tracers, Mitsunori Kirihata for providing non-radiolabeled FBPA, Genki Horitsugi, Keiko Matsunaga, Kayako Isohashi, Hiroki Kato, and Mitsuaki Tatsumi for their assistance, other members of department of Bio-system Pharmacology and department of Nuclear Medicine for supporting the experiments in PET Molecular Imaging Center, and Hiroaki Tanigawa, Rumi Saika, and Miyuki Kuroi for excellent technical assistance.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was funded by KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) (Number 24229008) and (A) (Number 24249077) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan.

Conflict of interest

No other potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

Ethical approval

All the animal experiments were performed in compliance with the guidelines of the Institute of Experimental Animal Sciences. The protocol was approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine (Approval number: 20-144-008).

Supplementary material

259_2016_3487_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (268 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 1 Scheme of one tissue compartment model for kinetic PET analysis. Kinetic rate constant of K1 is tracer flux from the blood to the tissue, and k2 is flux from tissue to blood. Tracer concentration of the blood (Cb) was estimated by image derived input function, and concentration of the tissue (Ct) was derived from VOI values of the tumor or the inflammatory lesion on PET. (PDF 267 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadashi Watabe
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hayato Ikeda
    • 1
  • Shushi Nagamori
    • 3
  • Pattama Wiriyasermkul
    • 3
  • Yoko Tanaka
    • 3
  • Sadahiro Naka
    • 4
  • Yasukazu Kanai
    • 2
    • 5
  • Kohei Hagiwara
    • 3
  • Masanao Aoki
    • 1
  • Eku Shimosegawa
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Yoshikatsu Kanai
    • 3
  • Jun Hatazawa
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine and Tracer KineticsOsaka University Graduate School of MedicineOsakaJapan
  2. 2.PET Molecular Imaging CenterOsaka University Graduate School of MedicineOsakaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Bio-system PharmacologyOsaka University Graduate School of MedicineOsakaJapan
  4. 4.Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University HospitalOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Molecular Imaging in MedicineOsaka University Graduate School of MedicineOsakaJapan
  6. 6.Immunology Frontier Research CenterOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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