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Synthesis and Evaluation of Fluorine-18 Labeled 2‑Phenylquinoxaline Derivatives as Potential Tau Imaging Agents

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posted on 21.01.2021, 15:07 authored by Kaixiang Zhou, Fan Yang, Yuying Li, Yimin Chen, Xiaojun Zhang, Jinming Zhang, Junfeng Wang, Jiapei Dai, Lisheng Cai, Mengchao Cui
In this study, three pairs of optically pure 18F-labeled 2-phenylquinoxaline derivatives were evaluated as Tau imaging agents for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The chiral 2-fluoromethyl-1,2-ethylenediol side chain was attached to the 2-phenylquinoxaline backbone to increase hydrophilicity, thereby improving the binding affinity of the probe to tangles and their selectivity toward Tau tangles over β-amyloid plaques (Aβ). These probes displayed excellent fluorescent properties and high selectivity for tangles on brain sections from transgenic mice (rTg4510) and AD patients. Quantitative binding assays with AD homogenates showed that the probes (R)-5 and (S)-16 have a high affinity (Ki = 4.1 and 10.3 nM, respectively) and high selectivity (30.5-fold and 34.6-fold, respectively) for tangles over Aβ. The high affinity and selectivity of (R)-[18F]­5 and (S)-[18F]­16 for tangles were further confirmed with autoradiography on AD brain tissue in vitro. In addition, they displayed sufficient blood-brain barrier penetration (7.06% and 10.95% ID/g, respectively) and suitable brain kinetics (brain2 min/brain60 min = 10.1, 6.5 respectively) in normal mice. Ex vivo metabolism studies and micro-positron emission computed tomography (PET) revealed high brain biostability, good brain kinetic properties, and low nonspecific binding for (S)-[18F]­16. Together, these results demonstrate that (R)-[18F]­5 and (S)-[18F]­16 are promising PET probes for Tau tangles imaging.