Cerebral metabolism of 6-[18F]fluoro-L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine in the primate

J Neurochem. 1987 Apr;48(4):1077-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1987.tb05629.x.


The tracers 6-[18F]fluoro-L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (6-[18F]fluoro-L-DOPA) and L-[14C]DOPA were injected simultaneously into rhesus monkeys, and the time course of their metabolites was measured in the striatum and in the occipital and frontal cortices. In the striatum, 6-[18F]fluoro-L-DOPA was metabolized to 6-[18F]fluorodopamine, 3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F]fluorophenylacetic acid, and 6-[18F]fluorohomovanillic acid. The metabolite pattern was qualitatively similar to that of L-[14C]DOPA. 6-[18F]Fluorodopamine was synthesized faster than [14C]dopamine. In the frontal cortex, the major metabolite was also 6-[18F]fluorodopamine or [14C]dopamine. In the occipital cortex, the major metabolite was 3-O-methyl-6-[18F]fluoro-L-DOPA. On the basis of these data, the images obtained with 6-[18F]fluoro-L-DOPA and positron emission tomography in humans can now be interpreted in neurochemical terms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine / metabolism
  • Dopamine / analogs & derivatives
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Levodopa / metabolism
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Occipital Lobe / metabolism


  • fluorodopa F 18
  • Levodopa
  • 6-fluorodopamine
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine
  • Dopamine