A PET radiotracer for studying serotonin uptake sites: Carbon-11-McN- 5652Z

M. Suehiro, U. Scheffel, R. F. Dannals, H. T. Ravert, G. A. Ricaurte, H. N. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


A radioligand for imaging central serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) uptake sites by positron emission tomography (PET) has yet to be developed. Such a tracer would be useful for the study of normal and altered serotonergic neurotransmission as well as for the detection of serotonergic neurotoxicity. This paper describes the labeling of the highly potent serotonin (5-HT) uptake blocker, McN-5652-Z (trans-1,2,3,5,6,10β-hexahydro- 6-[4-(methylthio)phenyl]pyrrolo-[2,1-a]-isoquinoline; racemic mixture), with 11C and the evaluation of this radiotracer in rodents with respect to its in vivo binding characteristics. In mouse brain, 11C-McN-5652-Z accumulated rapidly in regions with high densities of 5-HT uptake sites. The ratio between hypothalamus and cerebellum was 1.5:1 at 15 min and increased with time to 4.6:1 at 90 min after injection. The distribution of 11C-McN-5652 in rat brain at 60 min correlated well with regional concentrations of 5-HT uptake sites (r = 0.86). The specificity and selectivity of 11C-McN-5652 binding to the 5-HT transporter were tested by preinjecting blocking doses of known 5-HT, dopamine and norepinephrine uptake inhibitors, and a 5-HT2 receptor blocker before injection of the radiotracer. Preinjection of increasing doses of unlabeled McN-5652-Z inhibited 11C-McN-5652-Z binding in a dose-dependent fashion. These results suggest that the in vivo binding of the radiotracer was specific, selective for 5-HT uptake sites, saturable and that 11C-McN-5652-Z holds promise as a radiotracer for PET imaging of 5-HT uptake sites in the mammalian brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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