18F-THK5351: A novel PET radiotracer for imaging neurofibrillary pathology in Alzheimer disease

Ryuichi Harada, Nobuyuki Okamura, Shozo Furumoto, Katsutoshi Furukawa, Aiko Ishiki, Naoki Tomita, Tetsuro Tago, Kotaro Hiraoka, Shoichi Watanuki, Miho Shidahara, Masayasu Miyake, Yoichi Ishikawa, Rin Matsuda, Akie Inami, Takeo Yoshikawa, Yoshihito Funaki, Ren Iwata, Manabu Tashiro, Kazuhiko Yanai, Hiroyuki AraiYukitsuka Kudo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

244 Citations (Scopus)


Imaging of neurofibrillary pathology in the brain helps in diagnosing dementia, tracking disease progression, and evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of antidementia drugs. The radiotracers used in this imaging must be highly sensitive and specific for tau protein fibrils in the human brain. We developed a novel tau PET tracer, 18FTHK5351, through compound optimization of arylquinoline derivatives. Methods: The in vitro binDing properties, pharmacokinetics, and safety of 18F-THK5351 were investigated, and a clinical study on Alzheimer disease (AD) patients was performed. Results: 18FTHK5351 demonstrated higher binDing affinity for hippocampal homogenates from AD brains and faster dissociation from whitematter tissue than did 18F-THK5117. The THK5351 binDing amount correlated with the amount of tau deposits in human brain samples. Autoradiography of brain sections revealed that THK5351 bound to neurofibrillary tangles selectively and with a higher signal-tobackground ratio than did THK5117. THK5351 exhibited favorable pharmacokinetics and no defluorination in mice. In first-in-human PET studies in AD patients, 18F-THK5351 demonstrated faster kinetics, higher contrast, and lower retention in subcortical white matter than18F-THK5117. Conclusion: 18F-THK5351 is a useful PET tracer for the early detection of neurofibrillary pathology in AD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 1


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • F-THK5351
  • PET
  • Radiotracer
  • Tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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