Considerations in the Development of Reversibly Binding PET Radioligands for Brain Imaging

Curr Med Chem. 2016;23(18):1818-69. doi: 10.2174/0929867323666160418114826.


The development of reversibly binding radioligands for imaging brain proteins in vivo, such as enzymes, neurotransmitter transporters, receptors and ion channels, with positron emission tomography (PET) is keenly sought for biomedical studies of neuropsychiatric disorders and for drug discovery and development, but is recognized as being highly challenging at the medicinal chemistry level. This article aims to compile and discuss the main considerations to be taken into account by chemists embarking on programs of radioligand development for PET imaging of brain protein targets.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Radioisotopes / metabolism*


  • Ligands
  • Proteins
  • Radioisotopes