Evaluation of the Novel PET Tracer [11C]HACH242 for Imaging the GluN2B NMDA Receptor in Non-Human Primates

Jasper van der Aart, Maqsood Yaqub, Esther J M Kooijman, Jaco Bakker, Jan A M Langermans, Robert C Schuit, Mark B M Hofman, Johannes A M Christiaans, Adriaan A Lammertsma, Albert D Windhorst, Bart N M van Berckel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    PURPOSE: There are currently no positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracers for the GluN2B (NR2B) binding sites of brain N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. In rats, the GluN2B antagonist Ro25-6981 reduced the binding of N-((5-(4-fluoro-2-[11C]methoxyphenyl)pyridin-3-yl)methyl)cyclopentanamin ([11C]HACH242). This paper reports the evaluation of [11C]HACH242 PET in non-human primates at baseline and following administration of the GluN2B negative allosteric modulator radiprodil.

    PROCEDURES: Eight 90-min dynamic [11C]HACH242 PET scans were acquired in three male anaesthetised rhesus monkeys, including a retest session of subject 1, at baseline and 10 min after intravenous 10 mg/kg radiprodil. Standardised uptake values (SUV) were calculated for 9 brain regions. Arterial blood samples were taken at six timepoints to characterise pharmacokinetics in blood and plasma. Reliable input functions for kinetic modelling could not be generated due to variability in the whole-blood radioactivity measurements.

    RESULTS: [11C]HACH242 entered the brain and displayed fairly uniform uptake. The mean (± standard deviation, SD) Tmax was 17 ± 7 min in baseline scans and 24 ± 15 min in radiprodil scans. The rate of radioligand metabolism in plasma (primarily to polar metabolites) was high, with mean parent fractions of 26 ± 10 % at 20 min and 8 ± 5 % at 85 min. Radiprodil increased [11C]HACH242 whole-brain SUV in the last PET frame by 25 %, 1 %, 3 and 17 % for subjects 1, 2, 3 and retest of subject 1, respectively. The mean brain to plasma ratio was 5.4 ± 2.6, and increased by 39 to 110 % in the radiprodil condition, partly due to lower parent plasma radioactivity of -11 to -56 %.

    CONCLUSIONS: The present results show that [11C]HACH242 has a suitable kinetic profile in the brain and low accumulation of lipophilic radiometabolites. Radiprodil did not consistently change [11C]HACH242 brain uptake. These findings may be explained by variations in cerebral blood flow, a low fraction of specifically bound tracer, or interactions with endogenous NMDA receptor ligands at the binding site. Further experiments of ligand interactions are necessary to facilitate the development of radiotracers for in vivo imaging of the ionotropic NMDA receptor.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)676-685
    Number of pages10
    JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


    • Acetamides/chemistry
    • Animals
    • Area Under Curve
    • Brain/diagnostic imaging
    • Carbon Radioisotopes/blood
    • Macaca mulatta
    • Male
    • Molecular Imaging
    • Piperidines/chemistry
    • Positron-Emission Tomography
    • Radiopharmaceuticals/chemistry
    • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate/metabolism
    • [ 11C]HACH242
    • GluN2B
    • NMDA
    • NR2B
    • PET
    • Radiprodil


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