Bioorg Med Chem. 2013 Oct 1;21(19):5955-62 doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2013.07.046. 2013 Aug 28.

Radiosynthesis of N-(4-chloro-3-[(11)C]methoxyphenyl)-2-picolinamide ([(11)C]ML128) as a PET radiotracer for metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 4 (mGlu4)

Kil KE, Zhang Z, Jokivarsi K, Gong C, Choi JK, Kura S, Brownell AL.


N-(Chloro-3-methoxyphenyl)-2-picolinamide (3, ML128, VU0361737) is an mGlu4 positive allosteric modulator (PAM), which is potent and centrally penetrating. 3 is also the first mGlu4 PAM to show efficacy in a preclinical Parkinson disease model upon systemic dosing. As a noninvasive medical imaging technique and a powerful tool in neurological research, positron emission tomography (PET) offers a possibility to investigate mGlu4 expression in vivo under physiologic and pathological conditions. We synthesized a carbon-11 labeled ML128 ([(11)C]3) as a PET radiotracer for mGlu4, and characterized its biological properties in Sprague Dawley rats. [(11)C]3 was synthesized from N-(4-chloro-3-hydroxyphenyl)-2-picolinamide (2) using [(11)C]CH3I. Total synthesis time was 38+/-2.2min (n=7) from the end of bombardment to the formulation. The radioligand [(11)C]3 was obtained in 27.7+/-5.3% (n=5) decay corrected radiochemical yield based on the radioactivity of [(11)C]CO2. The radiochemical purity of [(11)C]3 was >99%. Specific activity was 188.7+/-88.8GBq/mol (n=4) at the end of synthesis (EOS). PET images were conducted in 20 normal male Sprague Dawley rats including 11 control studies, 6 studies blocking with an mGlu4 modulator (4) to investigate specificity and 3 studies blocking with an mGlu5 modulator (MTEP) to investigate selectivity. These studies showed fast accumulation of [(11)C]3 (peak activity between 1-3min) in several brain areas including striatum, thalamus, hippocampus, cerebellum, and olfactory bulb following with fast washout. Blocking studies with the mGlu4 modulator 4 showed 22-28% decrease of [(11)C]3 accumulation while studies of selectivity showed only minor decrease supporting good selectivity over mGlu5. Biodistribution studies and blood analyses support fast metabolism. Altogether this is the first PET imaging ligand for mGlu4, in which the labeled ML128 was used for imaging its in vivo distribution and pharmacokinetics in brain.

PMID: 23978356