ABSTRACT: In this study, novel specific PET radioligands containing the 4-(4-fluorobenzyl)piperidine moiety and selectively antagonistic for the NR2B subunit containing NMDA receptors were developed. Two antagonists, RGH-896 (1a) and 4-(4-fluorobenzyl)piperidinyl-1-methyl-2-benzimidazol-5-ol (2a), belonging to two different structural families, were radiolabeled by an aromatic nucleophilic radiofluorination followed by a reduction of the para-position carbonyl function. Radiotracers [18F]1a, [18F]2a or the pattern 4-(4-[18F]-fluorobenzyl)piperidine ([18F]6) demonstrated an identical in vivo behavior with high accumulation of radioactivity in bone and cartilage which would suggest a radiodefluorination of the radiotracers. The identification of metabolites from 6 by LC-MS-MS confirmed the significant degree of defluorination as a result of the in vivo hydroxylation in the benzyl ring. In conclusion, [18F]1a or [18F]2a are not suitable for imaging the NR2B NMDA receptors due to their poor brain penetration. We also argue for a cautious use of the radiolabeled pattern, 4-(4-[18F]-fluorobenzyl)piperidine, to develop PET radiotracers.
European journal of medicinal chemistry 03/2011; 46(6):2295-309. · 3.27 Impact Factor