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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2012 Oct 15;22(20):6352-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.08.083. Epub 2012 Aug 29.

Synthesis and biological evaluation of a novel 99mTc cyclopentadienyl tricarbonyl complex ([(Cp-R)99mTc(CO)3]) for sigma-2 receptor tumor imaging.

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Key Laboratory of Radiopharmaceuticals (Beijing Normal University), Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, PR China.


We report the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of a novel (99m)Tc 4-(4-cyclohexylpiperazine-1-yl)-butan-1-one-1-cyclopentadienyltricarbonyl technetium ([(99m)Tc]5) as a potential SPECT tracer for imaging of σ(2) receptors in tumors. [(99m)Tc]5 was prepared in 25±5% isolated radiochemical yield with radiochemical purity of >99% via double-ligand transfer (DLT) reaction from the ferrocene precursor 2b (4-(4-cyclohexylpiperazine-1-yl)-1-ferrocenylbutan-1-one). The corresponding Re-complex 4 and the ferrocenyl complex 2b showed relatively high affinity towards σ(2) receptors in in vitro competition binding assay (K(i) values of 4 and 2b were 64.4±18.5 nM and 43.6±21.3 nM, respectively) and moderate to high selectivity versus σ(1) receptors (K(i)σ(1)/K(i)σ(2) ratios were 12.5 and 95.5, respectively). The logD value of [(99m)Tc]5 was determined to be 2.52±0.33. Biodistribution studies in mice revealed comparably high initial brain uptake of [(99m)Tc]5 and slow washout. Administration of haloperidol 5 min prior to injection of [(99m)Tc]5 significantly reduced the radiotracer uptake in brain, heart, lung, and spleen by 40-50% at 2h p.i.. Moreover, [(99m)Tc]5 showed high uptake in C6 glioma cell lines (8.6%) after incubation for 1h. Blocking with haloperidol to compete with [(99m)Tc]5 significantly reduced the cell uptake. Preliminary blocking study in C6-brain-tumor bearing rats showed that [(99m)Tc]5 binds to σ receptors in the brain-tumor specifically. These results are encouraging for further exploration of (99m)Tc-labeled probes for σ(2) receptor tumor imaging in vivo.

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