Improved protocol for the radiosynthesis of [F-18]FTC-146: A potent and selective sigma-1 receptor radioligand

M. Sadeghzadeh*, B. Wenzel, J. Nikodemus, A. Florea, F. Kiessling, K. Kopka, A.T.J. Vogg, F.M. Mottaghy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


[F-18]FTC-146 was introduced as a very potent and selective sigma-1 receptor radioligand, which has shown promising application as an imaging agent for neuropathic pain with positron emission tomography. In line with a multi-laboratory project on animal welfare, we chose this radioligand to investigate its potential for detecting neuropathic pain and tissue damage in tumor-bearing animals. However, the radiochemical yield (RCY) of around 4-7% was not satisfactory to us, and efforts were made to improve it. Herein, we describe an improved approach for the radiosynthesis of [F-18]FTC-146 resulting in a RCY, which is sevenfold higher than that previously reported. A tosylate precursor was synthesized and radio-fluorination experiments were performed via aliphatic nucleophilic substitution reactions using either K[F-18]F-Kryptofix (R) 222 (K-2.2.2)-carbonate system or tetra-n-butylammonium [F-18]fluoride ([F-18]TBAF). Several parameters affecting the radiolabeling reaction such as solvent, F-18-fluorination agent with the corresponding amount of base, labeling time, and temperature were investigated. Best labeling reaction conditions were found to be [F-18]TBAF and acetonitrile as solvent at 100 & DEG;C. The new protocol was then translated to an automated procedure using a FX2 N synthesis module. Finally, the radiotracer reproducibly obtained with RCYs of 41.7 +/- 4.4% in high radiochemical purity (> 98%) and molar activities up to 171 GBq/mu mol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-125
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Labelled Compounds & Radiopharmaceuticals
Issue number3
Early online date1 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • [F-18]FTC-146
  • positron emission tomography (PET)
  • radiochemical yield
  • radio-fluorination
  • sigma-1 receptor (sigma 1R)
  • CELL
  • GENE
  • IGG


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