The renal uptake of radiolabeled antibody fragments and peptides is a problem in radioimmunodetection and radioimmunotherapy, especially with intracellularly retained radiometals. The aim of this study was to develop suitable methods to reduce this kidney uptake. BALB/c mice or nude mice bearing the human GW-39 colon carcinoma xenograft were given i.p. injections of basic amino acids or a range of different basic amino acid derivatives, amino sugars, as well as cationic peptides. The effect of these agents on the biodistribution of Fab′ and F(ab′)2 fragments of different mAbs radiolabeled with 99mTc, 188Re, 111In, 88Y, or 125I was studied. Tumor and organ uptake was determined and compared to untreated mice. The kidney uptake of Fab' fragments was reduced 5–6-fold in a dose-dependent manner as compared to untreated controls. The uptake in all other organs, as well as the tumor, was unaffected. A similar reduction in renal retention was seen for all other intracellularly retained isotopes, as well as for F(ab')2 fragments. d- and l-isomers of lysine were equally effective whether given i.p. or p.o. d-glucosamine was effective, but its N-acetyl derivative was not. Basic polypeptides (e.g., poly-l-lysine) were also effective; their potency increased with increasing molecular weight. HPLC of the urine taken from treated animals showed the excretion of intact Fab', in contrast to mostly low-molecular-weight metabolites in the control group. These studies indicate that a variety of basic compounds is capable of inhibiting the tubular reabsorption of peptides and proteins, thus lowering the kidney uptake of antibody fragments significantly. On a molecular basis, the effect seems to essentially rely on the presence of a positively charged amino group. By reducing renal retention of antibody fragments, their role as imaging and therapeutic agents may be expanded.


Supported in part by United States Public Health Service Outstanding Investigator Grant CA39841 from the NIH (D. M. G.).

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