A carbon-11 labeled methoxyl analog of CP-101,606, (±)threo-1-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-[4-hydroxy-4-(p-[11C] methoxyphenyl)piperidino]-1-propanol [(±)[11C]1], was synthesized as a new subtype-selective PET radioligand for NMDA receptors. The in vitro binding studies using rat brain slices demonstrated that (±)[11C]1 shows an extremely high-specific binding to the NR2B subunit of NMDA receptors. In contrast to the in vitro binding, the in vivo binding to mouse and monkey brains showed no apparent specific localization of the radioactivity in any of the brain regions. Metabolism and physicochemical properties such as the lipophilicity of (±)[11C]1 seemed unlikely to affect the in vivo (±)[11C]1 binding. Among the various endogenous ligands acting at the NMDA receptors, polyamines (spermine and spermidine) and divalent cations (Mg2+, Zn2+, and Ca2+) strongly inhibited the in vitro (±)[11C]1 binding. Thus, the present studies point to the possibility that the polyamines and cations behave as endogenous inhibitors for (±)[11C]1 binding, leading to the loss of the specific binding in vivo.
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