Macromolecules conjugated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) acquire more hydrophilicity, resulting in a longer half-life in circulation and lower immunogenicity. Two novel conjugates for MRI contrast agents were synthesized from a generation-4 polyamidoamine dendrimer (G4D), 2-(p-isothiocyanatobenzyl)-6-methyl-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (1B4M), and one or two PEG molecules with a molecular weight of 20000 Da (PEG2-G4D-(1B4M-Gd)62 (MW: 96 kD), PEG1-G4D- 1B4M-Gd)63 (MW: 77 kD)). Their pharmacokinetics, excretion, and properties as vascular MRI contrast agents were evaluated and compared with those of G4D-(1B4M-Gd)64 (MW: 57 kD). PEG2-G4D-(1B4M-Gd)62 remained in the blood significantly longer and accumulated significantly less in the liver and kidney than the other two preparations (P < 0.01). Although the blood clearance was slower, PEG2-G4D-(1B4M-Gd)62 was excreted more readily without renal retention than the other two preparations. In conclusion, the positive effects of PEG conjugation on a macromolecular MRI contrast agent were found to be prolonged retention in the circulation, increased excretion, and decreased accumulation in the organs.
- Contrast agent
- Polyamidoamine dendrimer
- Polyethylene glycol
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging