Thirteen new sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1) ligands were designed and synthesized by replacing azetidine-3-carboxylic acid moiety of compound 4 with new polar groups. The in vitro binding potency of these new analogs toward S1PR1 was determined. Out of 13 new compounds, four compounds 9a, 10c, 12b, and 16b displayed high S1PR1 binding potency with IC50 values of 13.2 ± 3.2, 14.7 ± 1.7, 9.7 ± 1.6, and 6.3 ± 1.3 nM, respectively; further binding studies of these four ligands toward S1PR2-5 suggested they are highly selective for S1PR1 over other S1PRs. The radiosynthesis of the lead radiotracer [18F]12b was achieved with good radiochemical yield (∼14.1%), high radiochemical purity (>98%), and good specific activity (∼54.1 GBq/μmol, decay corrected to the end of synthesis, EOS). Ex vivo autoradiography and initial biodistribution studies in rodents were performed, suggesting that [18F]12b was able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) with high brain uptake (0.71% ID/g at 60 min post-injection) and no defluorination was observed. In vitro autoradiography study in brain slices of lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation mice indicated that SEW2871, a specific S1PR1 ligand was able to reduce the uptake of [18F]12b, suggesting [18F]12b has S1PR1 specific binding. These initial results suggested that [18F]12b has potential to be an F-18 labeled radiotracer for imaging S1PR1 in the brain of the animal in vivo.
- F-18 radiotracer
- Multiple sclerosis
- Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1