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J Neurochem. 1988 Nov;51(5):1524-34.

Mechanistic positron emission tomography studies: demonstration of a deuterium isotope effect in the monoamine oxidase-catalyzed binding of [11C]L-deprenyl in living baboon brain.

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Chemistry Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973.


The application of positron emission tomography (PET) to the study of biochemical transformations in the living human and animal body requires the development of highly selective radiotracers whose concentrations in tissue provide a record of a discrete metabolic process. L-N-[11C-methyl]Deprenyl ([11C]L-deprenyl), a suicide inactivator of monoamine oxidase (MAO) type B, has been developed as a radiotracer for mapping MAO B in the living human and animal brain. In this investigation, [11C]L-deprenyl (1) and [11C]L-deprenyl-alpha, alpha-2H2 (2) have been compared in three different baboons by PET measurement of carbon-11 uptake and retention in the brain and the measurement of the amount of unchanged tracer in the arterial plasma over a 90-min time interval. For one baboon, N-[11C-methyl-2H3]L-deprenyl (3) was also studied. Kinetic parameters calculated using a three-compartment model revealed a deuterium isotope effect of 3.8 +/- 1.1. Comparison of the two tracers (1 and 2) in mouse brain demonstrated that deuterium substitution significantly reduced the amount of radioactivity bound to protein. HPLC and GLC analysis of the soluble radioactivity in mouse brain after injection of [11C]L-deprenyl showed the presence of [11C]methamphetamine as a major product along with unidentified labeled products. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide electrophoresis with carbon-14-labeled L-deprenyl showed that a protein of molecular weight 58,000 was labeled. These results establish that MAO-catalyzed cleavage of the alpha carbon-hydrogen bond on the propargyl group is the rate limiting (or a major rate contributing) step in the retention of carbon-11 in brain and that the in vivo detection of labeled products in brain after the injection of [11C]L-deprenyl provides a record of MAO activity.

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