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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2012 Mar 1;22(5):1958-62. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.01.039. Epub 2012 Jan 21.

Radiosynthesis of PET radiotracer as a prodrug for imaging group II metabotropic glutamate receptors in vivo.

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Athinoula A. Martinos Biomedical Imaging Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 149 13th Street, Charlestown, Massachusetts 2129, USA.


Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) have been implicated in a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders in recent studies. As a noninvasive medical imaging technique and a powerful tool in neurological research, positron emission tomography (PET) offers the possibility to visualize and study group II mGluRs in vivo under physiologic and pathologic conditions. We synthesized a PET tracer, (S,S,S)-2-(2-carboxycyclopropyl)-2-(3-[(11)C]methoxyphenethyl) glycine dimethyl ester ([(11)C]CMGDE), as a prodrug for group II mGluRs, and studied its preliminary biological properties in Sprague-Dawley rats to visualize group II mGluRs. The microPET studies demonstrated that [(11)C]CMGDE readily penetrated into the brain and the radiotracer generated from [(11)C]CMGDE had fast reversible binding in the group II mGluRs rich regions including striatum, hippocampus and different cortical areas. Blocking studies with LY341495 showed 20-30% decrease of binding of the radiotracer generated from [(11)C]CMGDE in all brain areas with the highest decrease in the striatum 31.5±3.2%. The results show [(11)C]CMGDE is the first PET tracer that is brain penetrating and can be used to image group II mGluRs in vivo.

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