In vivo imaging of the brain cannabinoid receptor

Chem Phys Lipids. 2002 Dec 31;121(1-2):65-72. doi: 10.1016/s0009-3084(02)00148-2.


The CB1 cannabinoid receptor is expressed in the brain at levels sufficient to serve as potential target for in vivo imaging using positron emission tomography (PET) or single photon emission computed tomography methodology. To date, the most promising radioligands for the in vivo imaging of this receptor have structures based on that of the cannabinoid antagonist, SR141716A. Rodent data obtained using these in vivo radiotracers has demonstrated that both the behavioral and neurochemical effects of cannabinoids occur at very low levels of receptor occupancy. More recently, an agonist radiotracer based on the structure of aminoalkylindole cannabinoids has also been examined for in vivo labeling of CB1 receptors. Although rodent studies have indicated that in vivo imaging of CB1 receptors is feasible, at the present time this receptor has still to be successful imaged in a human PET study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Indoles / chemistry
  • Indoles / pharmacology
  • Iodine Isotopes
  • Piperidines / chemistry
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Pyrazoles / chemistry
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, Drug / agonists
  • Receptors, Drug / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Drug / metabolism*
  • Rimonabant
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods


  • Indoles
  • Iodine Isotopes
  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, Drug
  • Rimonabant