(R)-1-(10,11-Dihydro-dibenzo[b,f]azepin-5-yl)-3-methylamino-propan-2-ol ((R)-OHDMI) and (S,S)-1-cyclopentyl-2-(5-fluoro-2-methoxy-phenyl)-1-morpholin-2-yl-ethanol (CFMME) were synthesized and found to be potent inhibitors of norepinephrine reuptake. Each was labelled efficiently in its methyl group with carbon-11 (t(1/2)=20.4 min) as a prospective radioligand for imaging brain norepinephrine transporters (NET) with positron emission tomography (PET). The uptake and distribution of radioactivity in brain following intravenous injection of each radioligand into cynomolgus monkey was examined in vivo with PET. After injection of (R)-[(11)C]OHDMI, the maximal whole brain uptake of radioactivity was very low (1.1% of injected dose; I.D.). For occipital cortex, thalamus, lower brainstem, mesencephalon and cerebellum, radioactivity ratios to striatum at 93 min after radioligand injection were 1.35, 1.35, 1.2, 1.2 and 1.0, respectively. After injection of [(11)C]CFMME, radioactivity readily entered brain (3.5% I.D.). Ratios of radioactivity to cerebellum at 93 min for thalamus, occipital cortex, region of locus coeruleus, mesencephalon and striatum were 1.35, 1.3, 1.3, 1.2 and 1.2, respectively. Radioactive metabolites in plasma were measured by radio-HPLC. (R)-[(11)C]OHDMI represented 75% of plasma radioactivity at 4 min after injection and 6% at 30 min. After injection of [(11)C]CFMME, 84% of the radioactivity in plasma represented parent at 4 min and 20% at 30 min. Since the two new hydroxylated radioligands provide only modest regional differentiation in brain uptake and form potentially troublesome lipophilic radioactive metabolites, they are concluded to be inferior to existing radioligands, such as (S,S)-[(11)C]MeNER, (S,S)-[(18)F]FMeNER-D(2) and (S,S)-[(18)F]FRB-D(4), for the study of brain NETs with PET in vivo.