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A Technetium-99m SPECT Imaging Agent Which Targets the Dopamine Transporter in Primate Brain

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posted on 1997-06-06, 00:00 authored by Peter C. Meltzer, Paul Blundell, Alun G. Jones, Ashfaq Mahmood, Basem Garada, Robert E. Zimmerman, Alan Davison, B. Leonard Holman, Bertha K. Madras
The dopamine transporter (DAT), located presynaptically on dopamine neurons, provides a marker for certain neurological diseases. In particular, the DAT is depleted in Parkinson's disease, and the extent of depletion correlates with the loss of dopamine. Herein we describe the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of technepine, the first 99mTc-labeled SPECT imaging agent which targets the dopamine transporter in striatum. We have demonstrated that the DAT can accommodate a chelating unit attached to the 8-amine function of a tropane skeleton. Further, we have demonstrated for the first time that a molecule can be designed to carry the radionuclide 99mTc across the blood−brain barrier in sufficient quantity to obtain in vivo images of the striatum in monkeys. This advance will undoubtedly lead to the design of new receptor and transporter-mediated 99mTc agents which can label specific transporter and receptor targets in the central nervous system.