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J Neurochem. 2013 Sep;126(5):616-24. doi: 10.1111/jnc.12354. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Radiolabeling and in vitro /in vivo evaluation of N-(1-adamantyl)-8-methoxy-4-oxo-1-phenyl-1,4-dihydroquinoline-3-carboxamide as a PET probe for imaging cannabinoid type 2 receptor.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, Center for Radiopharmaceutical Sciences of ETH-PSI-USZ, University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.


The cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor plays an important role in neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease and is therefore a very promising target for therapeutic approaches as well as for imaging. Based on the literature, we identified one 4-oxoquinoline derivative(designated KD2) as the lead structure. It was synthesized, radiolabeled and evaluated as a potential imaging tracer for CB2. [11C]KD2 was obtained in 99% radiochemical purity.Moderate blood–brain barrier (BBB) passage was predicted for KD2 from an in vitro transport assay with P-glycoprotein-transfected Madin Darby canine kidney cells. No efflux of KD2 by P-glycoprotein was detected. In vitro autoradiography of rat and mouse spleen slices demonstrated that [11C]KD2 exhibits high specific binding towards CB2. High spleen uptake of [11C]KD2 was observed in dynamic positron emission tomography(PET) studies with Wistar rats and its specificity was confirmed by displacement study with a selective CB2 agonist, GW405833. A pilot autoradiography study with post-mortem spinal cord slices from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)patients with [11C]KD2 suggested the presence of CB2 receptors under disease conditions. Specificity of [11C]KD2 binding could also be demonstrated on these human tissues. In conclusion, [11C]KD2 shows good in vitro and in vivo properties as a potential PET tracer for CB2.


autoradiography; cannabinoid receptor type 2 ligand; neurodegeneration; radiolabeling; small-animal PET

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