Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine

Synthesis and evaluation in rats of the dopamine D2/3 receptor agonist 18F-AMC20 as a potential radioligand for PET.

PMID 25476538


Dopamine D(2/3) receptor (D(2/3)R) agonist PET tracers are better suited for the imaging of synaptic dopaminergic neurotransmission than D(2/3)R antagonists and may also offer the opportunity to study in vivo the high-affinity state of D(2/3)R (D(2/3)RHigh). With the aim to develop (18)F-labeled D2/3R agonists suitable for widespread clinical application, we report here on the synthesis and in vitro and in vivo evaluation of a D(2/3)R agonist ligand from the aminomethyl chromane (AMC) class-(R)-2-[(4-(18)F-fluorobenzylamino)methyl]chroman-7-ol ((18)F- AMC20: ). In vitro affinities of AMC20: toward dopaminergic receptor subtypes were measured in membrane homogenates prepared from HEK293 cells expressing human dopamine receptors. Agonism of AMC20: was assessed in the arrestin recruitment assay in Chinese hamster ovary-K(1) cells expressing the long isoform of D(2)R (D(2)RLong). D(2/3)R-specific binding of (18)F- AMC20: was evaluated in brain slices of Sprague-Dawley rats by in vitro autoradiography and in living rats by in vivo small-animal PET imaging and ex vivo autoradiography. PET data were analyzed with 1- and 2-tissue compartmental models, the simplified reference tissue model, and Logan graphical analysis. Specificity of binding was tested by blocking D(2/3)R with raclopride (coincubation with 10 μM in vitro, administration of 1.0 mg/kg in vivo). In membrane homogenates, AMC20: demonstrated picomolar affinity at D(2)RHigh (mean inhibition constant [K(i)] = 85 pM) and excellent selectivity against the low-affinity state of D(2)R (D(2)RLow) (mean K(i) = 84 nM, 988-fold selectivity) and D(1)-like receptors (mean K(i) = 5,062 nM at D1R). The efficacy of AMC20: was 90% of that of dopamine in the arrestin recruitment assay. Up to 70% of total binding of (18)F- AMC20: in the D2/3R-rich striatum in rat brain slices was D(2/3)R-specific; in living rats, the uptake ratio between the striatum and the D(2/3)R-poor cerebellum reached 2.0-2.5, depending on the measurement method. Radiometabolites of (18)F- AMC20: did not enter the brain. Striatal binding potential of (18)F- AMC20: varied between 0.49 and 0.59 depending on the estimation method. Pretreatment with 1 mg of raclopride per kilogram reduced the apparent specific binding of (18)F- AMC20: in the striatum. (18)F- AMC20: shows specific binding to D(2/3)R in the striatum of living rats. Further optimization of the chemical structure of (18)F- AMC20: can lead to (18)F-labeled D(2/3) agonist PET tracers more suitable for in vivo clinical application.