In vivo SPECT imaging of 5-HT1A receptors with [123I]p-MPPI in nonhuman primates.
The in vivo imaging of a novel iodinated phenylpiperazine derivative for 5-HT1A receptors, [123I]p-MPPI (4-(2'-methoxy-)phenyl-1-[2'-(n-2"-pyridinyl)-p-iodobenzamido-] ethyl-piperazine), using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), was evaluated in nonhuman primates. After an i.v. injection, [123I]p-MPPI penetrated the blood-brain barrier quickly and localized in brain regions where 5-HT1A receptor density is high (hippocampus, frontal cortex, cingulate gyrus, entorhinal cortex). Maximum ratio of hippocampus to cerebellum was 3 to 1 at 50 min postinjection. The specific binding of the radioligand in the hippocampal region, an area rich in 5-HT1A receptor density, was blocked by a chasing dose of (+/-) 8-OH-DPAT (2 mg/kg, i.v.) or non-radioactive p-MPPI (1 mg/kg, i.v.), whereas the regional distribution of [123I]p-MPPI was unaffected by treatment with non 5-HT1A agents, such as ketanserin. Ex vivo and in vitro autoradiographic studies using monkey brain further confirmed that the specific binding of [123I]p-MPPI is associated with 5-HT1A receptor sites. However, the initial attempt at [123I]p-MPPI human imaging studies did not display specific localization of 5-HT1A receptors. This discrepancy observed for [123I]p-MPPI may be due to a dramatic difference in metabolic pathways between humans and monkeys.