Several isomers of 7-methyl-2-exo-([(18)F]fluoropyridinyl-5'-pyridinyl)-7-azabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane have been developed as radioligands with optimized brain kinetics for PET imaging of nAChR. The binding assay demonstrated that all isomers are beta-nAChR selective ligands with Ki = 0.02-0.3 nM. The experimental lipophilicity values of all isomers were in the optimal range for the cerebral radioligands (log D7.4= 0.67-0.99). The isomers with higher binding affinity manifested slow baboon brain kinetics, whereas the isomer with the lowest binding affinity (Ki = 0.3 nM) ((-)-7-methyl-2- exo-[3'-(6-[(18)F]fluoropyridin-2-yl)-5'-pyridinyl]-7-azabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane, [(18)F](-)-6c) and greatest lipophilicity (log D 7.4 = 0.99) exhibited optimal brain kinetics. [(18)F](-)-6c manifests a unique combination of the optimally rapid brain kinetics, high BP and brain uptake, and favorable metabolic profile. Pharmacological studies showed that (-)-6c is an alpha4beta2-nAChR antagonist with low side effects in mice. This combination of imaging properties suggests that [(18)F]-(-)- 6c is a potentially superior replacement for 2-[(18)F]fluoro-A-85380 and 6-[(18)F]fluoro-A-85380, the only available nAChR PET radioligands for humans.