Uptake of 131iodine-metaiodobenzylguanidine (131I-MIBG) by 6-23 rat medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), was studied in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, there was an 8-fold increase in 131I uptake by 6-23 cells when labeled with 131I-MIBG (131I 24±15 cpm/106 cells, 131I-MIBG 196±9 cpm/106 cells). MIBG uptake in vitro was the same at 4°C and 37°C. In contrast, (131I-MIBG uptake by PC-12 rat pheochromocytoma cells were 200 times greater (131I-MIBG 42,412±6,755 cpm/106 cells). 131I-MIBG uptake by rat MTC cells in vitro were of a comparable magnitude to the uptake of 131I-MIBG by rat ileal enterochromaffin cells (RIE-1) and mouse colon cancer cells (MC-26). In vivo, uptake of 131I-MIBG by 6-23 MTC tumor was considerably less than in the normal tissues (muscle, liver, spleen, kidney, adrenal and thyroid). Gamma camera studies of 131I-MIBG uptake by 6-23 MTC tumors growing in Wag-Rij rats were only transiently positive in 1 out of 4 rats studied. We conclude that 131I-MIBG is poorly taken up by rat medullary thyroid carcinoma and is an unpredictable marker for localization of rat MTC.
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