Imaging the norepinephrine transporter with positron emission tomography: initial human studies with (S,S)-[18F]FMeNER-D2

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2008 Jan;35(1):153-7. doi: 10.1007/s00259-007-0598-8. Epub 2007 Oct 2.


Introduction: (S,S)-[(18)F]FMeNER-D(2) is a recently developed positron emission tomography (PET) ligand for in vivo quantification of norepinephrine transporter. A monkey occupancy study with the radioligand indicated that (S,S)-[(18)F]FMeNER-D(2) can be useful for quantitative PET analysis. In this preliminary study, regional distributions in the living human brain were evaluated.

Materials and methods: Brain PET measurements were performed for a total of 255 min after the injection of 188.3 +/- 5.7 MBq of (S,S)-[(18)F]FMeNER-D(2) in four healthy male subjects. Regions of interests were drawn on the thalamus and the caudate in the coregistered MRI/PET images.

Results: (S,S)-[(18)F]FMeNER-D(2) displayed good brain penetration and selective retention in regions rich in norepinephrine reuptake sites. The transient peak equilibrium was reached during the PET measurements. The ratios of radioactivity uptake in the thalamus to that in the caudate were 1.50 +/- 0.06 for the time period of 90-255 min.

Conclusion: The present preliminary investigation indicates that (S,S)-[(18)F]FMeNER-D(2) has suitable characteristics for probing the norepinephrine reuptake system with PET in the human brain.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Morpholines / chemistry
  • Morpholines / metabolism*
  • Morpholines / pharmacokinetics
  • Norepinephrine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / analysis*
  • Norepinephrine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Young Adult


  • 2-(alpha-(2-fluoromethoxyphenoxy)benzyl)morpholine
  • Morpholines
  • Norepinephrine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins