Radiosynthesis of [11C]brofaromine a potential tracer for imaging monoamine oxidase A

S. M. Ametamey, H. F. Beer, I. Guenther, A. Antonini, K. L. Leenders, P. C. Waldmeier, P. A. Schubiger

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Brofaromine(4-5(-methoxy-7-bromobenzofuranyl)-2-piperidine-HCl) is a potent and selective inhibitor of monoamine oxidase (MAO) A. Two methods for its synthesis and a preliminary positron emission tomography (PET) evaluation in monkey brain are described. The first method, at low carrier concentration of CO2, consisted of direct O-methylation of (4-(5-hydroxy-7-bromobenzofuranyl)-2-piperidine). The total radiochemical yield achieved ranged from 30 to 50% (from end of bombardment [EOB] and decay corrected) with an overall synthesis time of 45 min. The second approach, with high carrier amounts of CO2 arising from inherent target problems, was accomplished in a three-step route involving protection of secondary amino functionality, O-methylation and deprotection. The total radiochemical yield was 10% (from EOB and decay corrected) with a total synthesis time of 70 min. For both methods methylation was achieved using the classical methylating agent [11C]CH3l, and radiochemical purity was higher than 98%. PET evaluation of the radioligand in a Rhesus monkey showed a high uptake of radioactivity in the brain. Using the irreversible MAO-A inhibitor clorgyline and reversible MAO-A inhibitors moclobemide and brofaromine, three blockade experiments were designed to determine the extent of specific binding of [11C]brofaromine to MAO-A. No apparent decrease in accumulation of radioactivity in the monkey brain was observed when compared to a baseline scan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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