Expanding the Scope of Pyclen-Picolinate Lanthanide Chelates to Po-Tential Theranostic Applications

A family of three picolinate pyclen based ligands, previously investigated for the complexation of Y3+ and some lanthanide ions (Gd3+, Eu3+), was studied with 161Tb and 177Lu in view of potential radiotherapeutic applications. The set of six Tb3+ and Lu3+ complexes was synthesized and fully characterized. The coordination properties in the solid state and in solution were thoroughly studied. Potentiometric titrations, corroborated by DFT calculations, showed the very high stability constants of the Tb3+ and Lu3+ complexes, which are associated to remarkable kinetic inertness. A complete radiolabeling study performed with both 161Tb and 177Lu radionuclides, including experiments with regard to the stability with and without scavengers and kinetic inertness using challenging agents, proved that the ligands could reasonably compete with the DOTA analogue. To conclude, the potential of using the same ligand for both radiotherapy and optical imaging was highlighted for the first time.