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

Gregorio Naredo-Gonzalez*, Rita Upreti, Maurits A Jansen, Scott Semple, Oliver B Sutcliffe, Ian Marshall, Brian R Walker, Ruth Andrew

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • 19F-magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Dexamethasone
  • 11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1
  • Fluorinated tracers


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