Cerebral α₁-adrenoceptors are a common target for many antipsychotic drugs. Thus, access to positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging of α₁-adrenoceptors could make important contributions to the understanding of psychotic disorders as well as to the pharmacokinetics and occupancy of drugs targeting the α₁-adrenoceptors. However, so far no suitable PET radioligand has been developed for brain imaging of α₁-adrenoceptors. Here, we report the synthesis of both enantiomers of the desmethyl precursors of the high affinity α₁-adrenoceptor ligand (1). The two enantiomers of 1 were subsequently [¹¹C] radiolabelled and evaluated for brain uptake and binding by PET imaging in Danish Landrace pigs. (S)-[¹¹C]-1 and (R)-[¹¹C]-1 showed very limited brain uptake. Pre-treatment with cyclosporine A (CsA) resulted in a large increase in brain uptake, indicating that (R)-[¹¹C]-1 is a substrate for active efflux-transporters. This was confirmed in Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells overexpressing permeability glycoprotein (Pgp). In conclusion, the limited brain uptake of both (S)-[¹¹C]-1 and (R)-[¹¹C]-1 in the pig brain necessitates the search for alternative radioligands for in vivo PET brain imaging of α₁-adrenoceptors.
Nuclear Medicine and Biology, 2013, Vol 40, Issue 1, p. 135-140