Synthesis of carbon-11 labeled iodinated cocaine derivatives and their distribution in baboon brain measured using positron emission tomography

J Med Chem. 1992 Jun 12;35(12):2178-83. doi: 10.1021/jm00090a005.


Three iodine-substituted derivatives of cocaine, methyl esters of 3-[(2'-, 3'-, and 4'-iodobenzoyl)oxy]-8-methyl-[1R-(exo,exo)]-8- azabicyclo[3.2.1]octane-2 carboxylic acid (2a-c), were synthesized and subjected to N-demethylation to give the corresponding noriodococaines 3-[(2'-,3'-, and 4'-iodobenzoyl)oxy]-[1R-(exo,exo)]-8- azabicyclo[3.2.1]-octane-2-carboxylic acid (3a-c). These were remethylated with [11C]CH3I to give the [N-11C-methyl]iodococaines 4a-c which were examined in baboon brain in vivo using positron emission tomography (PET). Compared to [N-11C]cocaine itself the regional distributions were changed from a highly specific localization in the corpus striatum to more diffuse patterns which included the cerebellum and cortex. Peak brain uptakes and clearance kinetics were also changed. [N-11C]-o-Iodococaine (4a) had a peak uptake in the striatum at 4-5 min after injection of only 17% that of cocaine in the same animal. The peak uptake of [N-11C]-p-iodococaine (4c) was 60% of that of [N-11C]cocaine and a clearance half-time of approximately 55 min, twice that of [N-11C]cocaine. [N-11C]-m-Iodococaine (4b) displayed half the uptake of [N-11C]cocaine, buts its clearance was similar to that of the parent molecule. The fractions of unmetabolized tracer in blood plasma at 1-30 min were higher for 4a-c than for [N-11C]cocaine. Plasma protein binding experiments showed 10%, 0.3%, 1.6%, and 6% as the free fraction for cocaine and o-, m-, and p-iodococaines respectively, consistent with the low brain uptake observed for the ortho isomer, and implicated alpha 1-acid glycoprotein as responsible for the low free fraction of o-iodococaine. The potencies of 2a-c to displace tritiated cocaine from striatal membranes were p-iodo approximately cocaine greater than m-iodo approximately o-iodo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Carbon Radioisotopes*
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Cocaine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cocaine / chemistry
  • Cocaine / pharmacokinetics
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Iodine*
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Kinetics
  • Papio
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Blood Proteins
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Iodine
  • Cocaine