Synthesis and evaluation of methylated arylazepine compounds for PET imaging of 5-HT2c receptors

Michael L. Granda, Stephen M. Carlin, Christian K. Moseley, Ramesh Neelamegam, Joseph B. Mandeville, Jacob M. Hooker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The serotonin 5-HT2c receptor is implicated in a number of diseases including obesity, depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. In order to ascribe the role of 5-HT2c in these diseases, a method for measuring 5-HT2cdensity and function in vivo, such as with positron emission tomography (PET), must be developed. Many high-affinity and relatively selective ligands exist for 5-HT2c but cannot be accessed with current radiosynthetic methods for use as PET radiotracers. We propose that N-methylation of an arylazepine moiety, a frequent structural feature in 5-HT2c ligands, may be a suitable method for producing new radiotracers for 5-HT2c. The impact of N-methylation has not been previously reported. For the agonists that we selected herein, N-methylation was found to increase affinity up to 8-fold without impairing selectivity. Compound 5, an N-methylated azetidine-derived arylazepine, was found to be brain penetrant and reached a brain/blood ratio of 2.05:1. However, our initial test compound was rapidly metabolized within 20 min of administration and exhibited high nonspecific binding. N-Methylation, with 16 ± 3% isolated radiochemical yield (decay corrected), is robust and may facilitate screening other 5-HT2c ligands as radiotracers for PET.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-265
Number of pages5
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-HT agonist
  • PET imaging
  • Serotonin
  • carbon-11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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