Radiochemical Synthesis and Evaluation in Non-Human Primates of 3-[11C]methoxy-4-aminopyridine: A Novel PET Tracer for Imaging Potassium Channels in the CNS

Nicolas J. Guehl, Ramesh Neelamegam, Yu Peng Zhou, Sung Hyun Moon, Maeva Dhaynaut, Georges El Fakhri, Marc D. Normandin, Pedro Brugarolas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Demyelination, the loss of the protecting sheath of neurons, contributes to disability in many neurological diseases. In order to fully understand its role in different diseases and to monitor treatments aiming at reversing this process, it would be valuable to have PET radiotracers that can detect and quantify molecular changes involved in demyelination such as the uncovering and upregulation of the axonal potassium channels Kv1.1 and Kv1.2. Carbon-11 labeled radiotracers present the advantage of allowing for multiple scans on the same subject in the same day. Here, we describe [11C]3MeO4AP, a novel 11C-labeled version of the K+ channel tracer [18F]3F4AP, and characterize its imaging properties in two non-human primates including a monkey with a focal brain injury sustained during a surgical procedure 3 years prior to imaging. Our findings show that [11C]3MeO4AP is brain permeable, metabolically stable and has high plasma availability. When compared with [18F]3F4AP, [11C]3MeO4AP shows very high correlation in volumes of distribution (VT), confirming a common target. [11C]3MeO4AP shows slower washout than [18F]3F4AP, suggesting stronger binding. Finally, similar to [18F]3F4AP, [11C]3MeO4AP is highly sensitive to the focal brain injury. All these features make it a promising radioligand for imaging demyelinated lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-765
Number of pages10
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 17 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Demyelination
  • Kchannels
  • PET
  • carbon-11
  • pharmacokinetics
  • radiochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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