Introduction: Four benzamide analogs having a high affinity and selectivity for D3 versus D2 receptors were radiolabeled with 11C or 18F for in vivo evaluation. Methods: Precursors were synthesized, and the four D3 selective benzamide analogs were radiolabeled. The tissue distribution and brain uptake of the four compounds were evaluated in control rats and rats pretreated with cyclosporin A, a modulator of P-glycoprotein and an inhibitor of other ABC efflux transporters that contribute to the blood brain barrier. Micro-positron emission tomographic (PET) imaging was carried out for [11C]6 in a control and a cyclosporin A pretreated rat. Results: All four compounds showed low brain uptake in control rats at 5 and 30 min post-injection; despite recently reported rat behavioral studies conducted on analogs 6 (WC-10) and 7 (WC-44). Following administration of cyclosporin A, increased brain uptake was observed with all four PET radiotracers at both 5 and 30 min post-intravenous injection. An increase in brain uptake following modulation/inhibition of the ABC transporters was also observed in the microPET study. Conclusions: These data suggest that D3 selective conformationally-flexible benzamide analogs which contain a N-2-methoxyphenylpiperazine moiety are substrates for P-glycoprotein or other adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette transporters expressed at the blood-brain barrier, and that PET radiotracers containing this pharmacophore may display low brain uptake in rodents due to the action of these efflux transporters.
- D receptors