OBJECTIVES: (R)-[(11)C]verapamil is widely used as a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer to evaluate P-glycoprotein (P-gp) functionality at the blood-brain barrier in man. A disadvantage of (R)-[(11)C]verapamil is the fact that its main metabolite, [(11)C]D617, also enters the brain. For quantitative analysis of (R)-[(11)C]verapamil data, it has been assumed that the cerebral kinetics of (R)-[(11)C]verapamil and [(11)C]D617 are the same. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the cerebral kinetics of (R)-[(11)C]verapamil and [(11)C]D617 are indeed similar and, if so, whether [(11)C]D617 itself could serve as an alternative PET tracer for P-gp.
METHODS: [(11)C]D617 was synthesized and its ex vivo biodistribution was investigated in male rats at four time points following intravenous administration of [(11)C]D617 (50 MBq) without (n=4) or with (n=4) pretreatment with the P-gp inhibitor tariquidar (15 mg·kg(-1), intraperitoneally). Brain distribution was further assessed using consecutive PET scans (n=8) before and after pretreatment with tariquidar (15 mg·kg(-1), intravenously), as well as metabolite analysis (n=4).
RESULTS: The precursor for the radiosynthesis of [(11)C]D617, 5-amino-2-(3,4-dimethoxy-phenyl)-2-isopropyl-pentanitrile (desmethyl D617), was synthesized in 41% overall yield. [(11)C]D617 was synthesized in 58%-77% decay-corrected yield with a radiochemical purity of ≥99%. The homogeneously distributed cerebral volume of distribution (V(T)) of [(11)C]D617 was 1.1, and this increased 2.4-fold after tariquidar pretreatment.
CONCLUSION: V(T) of [(11)C]D617 was comparable to that of (R)-[(11)C]verapamil, but its increase after tariquidar pretreatment was substantially lower. Hence, (R)-[(11)C]verapamil and [(11)C]D617 do not show similar brain kinetics after inhibition of P-gp with tariquidar.
2012. Vol. 39, no 4, 530-9 p.