In vitro and in vivo evaluation of 11C-SD5024, a novel PET radioligand for human brain imaging of cannabinoid CB1 receptors

Tetsuya Tsujikawa, Sami S. Zoghbi, Jinsoo Hong, Sean R. Donohue, Kimberly J. Jenko, Robert L. Gladding, Christer Halldin, Victor W. Pike, Robert B. Innis, Masahiro Fujita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We recently developed a novel cannabinoid subtype-1 (CB1) receptor radioligand 11C-SD5024 for brain imaging. This study aimed to evaluate 11C-SD5024 both in vitro and in vivo and compare it with the other CB1 receptor ligands previously used in humans, i.e., 11C-MePPEP, 11C-OMAR, 18F-MK-9470, and 18F-FMPEP-d2. In vitro experiments were performed to measure dissociation constant (Ki) in the human brain and to measure the lipophilicity of the five CB1 receptor ligands listed above. In vivo specific binding in monkeys was measured by comparing total distribution volume (VT) at baseline and after full receptor blockade. The kinetics of 11C-SD5024 in humans were evaluated in seven healthy subjects with compartmental modeling. SD5024 showed Ki=0.47nM, which was at an intermediate level among the five CB1 receptor ligands. Lipophilicity (LogD7.4) was 3.79, which is appropriate for brain imaging. Monkey scans showed high proportion of specific binding: ~80% of VT. In humans, 11C-SD5024 showed peak brain uptake of 1.5-3 standardized uptake value, which was slightly higher than that of 11C-OMAR and 18F-MK-9470. One-compartment model showed good fitting, consistent with the vast majority of brain uptake being specific binding found in the monkey. Regional VT values were consistent with known distribution of CB1 receptors. VT calculated from 80 and 120min of scan data was strongly correlated (R2=0.97), indicating that 80min provided adequate information for quantitation and that the influence of radiometabolites was low. Intersubject variability for VT of 11C-SD5024 was 22%, which was low among the five radioligands and indicated precise measurement. In conclusion, 11C-SD5024 has appropriate affinity and lipophilicity, high specific binding, moderate brain uptake, and provides good precision to measure the binding. The results suggest that 11C-SD5024 is slightly better than or equivalent to 11C-OMAR and that both are suitable for clinical studies, especially those that involve two scans in one day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-741
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Cannabinoid
  • PET
  • Receptor imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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