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J Med Chem. 2008 Mar 27;51(6):1817-23. doi: 10.1021/jm7014765. Epub 2008 Mar 1.

Synthesis of a potent and selective (18)F-labeled delta-opioid receptor antagonist derived from the Dmt-Tic pharmacophore for positron emission tomography imaging.

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Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford, Department of Radiology and Bio-X Program, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Identification and pharmacological characterization of two new selective delta-opioid receptor antagonists, derived from the Dmt-Tic pharmacophore, of potential utility in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging are described. On the basis of its high delta selectivity, H-Dmt-Tic--Lys(Z)-OH (reference compound 1) is a useful starting point for the synthesis of (18)F-labeled compounds prepared by the coupling of N-succinimidyl 4-[ (18)F]fluorobenzoate ([(18)F]SFB) with Boc-Dmt-Tic--Lys(Z)-OH under slightly basic conditions at 37 degrees C for 15 min, deprotection with TFA, and HPLC purification. The total synthesis time was 120 min, and the decay-corrected radiochemical yield of [(18)F]- 1 was about 25-30% ( n = 5) starting from [(18)F]SFB ( n = 5) with an effective specific activity about 46 GBq/micromol. In vitro autoradiography studies showed prominent uptake of [ (18)F]- 1 in the striatum and cortex with significant blocking by 1 and UFP-501 (selective delta-opioid receptor antagonist), suggesting high specific binding of [(18)F]- 1 to delta-opioid receptors. Noninvasive microPET imaging studies revealed the absence of [(18)F]- 1 in rat brain, since it fails to cross the blood-brain barrier. This study demonstrates the suitability of [ (18)F]- 1 for imaging peripheral delta-opioid receptors.

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