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Synthesis and initial preclinical evaluation of the P2X7 receptor antagonist [11C]A-740003 as a novel tracer of neuroinflammation

Janssen, Bieneke; Vugts, Danielle J; Funke, Uta; Spaans, Arnold; Schuit, Robert C; Kooijman, Esther; Rongen, Marissa; Perk, Lars R; Lammertsma, Adriaan A; Windhorst, Albert D

Neuroinflammation, in particular activation of microglia, is thought to play an important role in the progression of

neurodegenerative diseases. In activated microglia, the purinergic P2X7 receptor is upregulated. A-740003, a highly affine

and selective P2X7 receptor antagonist, is a promising candidate for the development of a radiotracer for imaging of

neuroinflammation by positron emission tomography. For this purpose, [11C]A-740003 was synthesised and evaluated

in vivo with respect to both tracer metabolism and biodistribution. In plasma, a moderate metabolic rate was seen. In healthy rat brain, only marginal uptake of [11C]A-740003 was observed and, therefore, metabolites in brain could not be determined. Whether the minimal brain uptake is due to the low expression levels of the P2X7 receptor in healthy brain or to limited transport across the blood–brain barrier has yet to be elucidated.

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