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Non-invasive in vivo assessment of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 activity by 19F-magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Brian WalkerORCiD



11β Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) amplifies tissue glucocorticoid levels and is a pharmaceutical target in diabetes and cognitive decline. Clinical translation of inhibitors is hampered by lack of in vivo pharmacodynamic biomarkers. Our goal was to monitor substrates and products of 11β-HSD1 non-invasively in liver via 19Fluorine magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Interconversion of mono/poly-fluorinated substrate/product pairs was studied in Wistar rats (male, n=6) and healthy men (n=3) using 7 T and 3 T MRI scanners, respectively. Here we show that the in vitro limit of detection, as absolute fluorine content, was 0.625 μmole in blood. Mono-fluorinated steroids, dexamethasone and 11 dehydrodexamethasone, were detected in phantoms but not in vivo in human liver following oral dosing. A non-steroidal polyfluorinated tracer, 2 (phenylsulfonyl)-1-(4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)ethanone and its metabolic product were detected in vivo in rat liver after oral administration of the keto-substrate, reading out reductase activity. Administration of a selective 11β HSD1 inhibitor in vivo in rats altered total liver 19F-MRS signal. We conclude that there is insufficient sensitivity to measure mono-fluorinated tracers in vivo in man with current dosage regimens and clinical scanners. However, since reductase activity was observed in rats using poly-fluorinated tracers, this concept could be pursued for translation to man with further development.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Naredo-Gonzalez G, Upret R, Jansen MA, Semple S, Sutcliffe OB, Marshall I, Walker BR, Andrew R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2022

Volume: 12

Online publication date: 29/09/2022

Acceptance date: 18/08/2022

Date deposited: 31/08/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Springer Nature


DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-18740-5


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