Discovery, Radiolabeling, and Evaluation of Subtype-Selective Inhibitors for Positron Emission Tomography Imaging of Brain Phosphodiesterase-4D

Yuichi Wakabayashi, Sanjay Telu, Rachel M. Dick, Masahiro Fujita, Maarten Ooms, Cheryl L. Morse, Jeih San Liow, Jinsoo S. Hong, Robert L. Gladding, Lester S. Manly, Sami S. Zoghbi, Xuesheng Mo, Emily C. D'Amato, Janice A. Sindac, Richard A. Nugent, Brian E. Marron, Mark E. Gurney, Robert B. Innis, Victor W. Pike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We aimed to develop radioligands for PET imaging of brain phosphodiesterase subtype 4D (PDE4D), a potential target for developing cognition enhancing or antidepressive drugs. Exploration of several chemical series gave four leads with high PDE4D inhibitory potency and selectivity, optimal lipophilicity, and good brain uptake. These leads featured alkoxypyridinyl cores. They were successfully labeled with carbon-11 (t1/2 = 20.4 min) for evaluation with PET in monkey. Whereas two of these radioligands did not provide PDE4D-specific signal in monkey brain, two others, [11C]T1660 and [11C]T1650, provided sizable specific signal, as judged by pharmacological challenge using rolipram or a selective PDE4D inhibitor (BPN14770) and subsequent biomathematical analysis. Specific binding was highest in prefrontal cortex, temporal cortex, and hippocampus, regions that are important for cognitive function. [11C]T1650 was progressed to evaluation in humans with PET, but the output measure of brain enzyme density (VT) increased with scan duration. This instability over time suggests that radiometabolite(s) were accumulating in the brain. BPN14770 blocked PDE4D uptake in human brain after a single dose, but the percentage occupancy was difficult to estimate because of the unreliability of measuring VT. Overall, these results show that imaging of PDE4D in primate brain is feasible but that further radioligand refinement is needed, most likely to avoid problematic radiometabolites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1323
Number of pages13
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 6 2020


  • PET
  • Phosphodiesterase-4D (PDE4D)
  • carbon-11
  • inhibitor
  • radioligand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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