Radiosynthesis and in Vivo Evaluation of [11C]A1070722, a High Affinity GSK-3 PET Tracer in Primate Brain

ACS Chem Neurosci. 2017 Aug 16;8(8):1697-1703. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.6b00376. Epub 2017 May 17.


Dysfunction of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) is implicated in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, pain, and cancer. A radiotracer for functional positron emission tomography (PET) imaging could be used to study the kinase in brain disorders and to facilitate the development of small molecule inhibitors of GSK-3 for treatment. At present, there is no target-specific or validated PET tracer available for the in vivo monitoring of GSK-3. We radiolabeled the small molecule inhibitor [11C]1-(7-methoxy- quinolin-4-yl)-3-(6-(trifluoromethyl)pyridin-2-yl)urea ([11C]A1070722) with high affinity to GSK-3 (Ki = 0.6 nM) in excellent radiochemical yield. PET imaging experiments in anesthetized vervet/African green monkey exhibited that [11C]A1070722 penetrated the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and accumulated in brain regions, with highest radioactivity binding in frontal cortex followed by parietal cortex and anterior cingulate, and with the lowest bindings found in caudate, putamen, and thalamus, similarly to the known distribution of GSK-3 in human brain. Our studies suggest that [11C]A1070722 can be a potential PET radiotracer for the in vivo quantification of GSK-3 in brain.

Keywords: GSK-3; PET; brain; radiotracer.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Capillary Permeability / drug effects
  • Capillary Permeability / physiology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Quinolines / blood
  • Quinolines / chemical synthesis*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / blood
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemical synthesis*
  • Urea / analogs & derivatives*
  • Urea / blood
  • Urea / chemical synthesis


  • ((11)C)1-(7-methoxy- quinolin-4-yl)-3-(6-(trifluoromethyl)pyridin-2-yl)urea
  • Quinolines
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Urea
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3