Nuclear Medicine and Biology vol:39 issue:3 pages:389-399
INTRODUCTION: Up-regulation of the type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB(2)R) has been reported in (neuro)inflammatory diseases. In this study, we report the preclinical evaluation of [(11)C]NE40 as positron emission tomography (PET) radioligand for visualization of the CB(2)R. METHODS: The selectivity of NE40 for CB(2)R and its toxicity and mutagenicity were determined. [(11)C]NE40 was evaluated by biodistribution and autoradiography studies in normal rats and a microPET study in normal mice, rats and a rhesus monkey. Specific in vivo binding of [(11)C]NE40 to human CB(2)R (hCB(2)R) was studied in a rat model with hCB(2)R overexpression. RESULTS: [(11)C]NE40 shows specific CB(2)R binding in the spleen and blood of normal rats and high brain uptake in rhesus monkey. [(11)C]NE40 showed specific and reversible binding to hCB(2)R in vivo in a rat model with local hCB(2)R overexpression. CONCLUSIONS: [(11)C]NE40 shows favorable characteristics as radioligand for in vivo visualization of the CB(2)R and is a promising candidate for hCB(2)R PET imaging.