[3H]SCH 39166, A New D1-Selective Radioligand: In Vitro and In Vivo Binding Analyses


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. R. D. McQuade at Schering-Plough Research, 60 Orange St., Bloomfield, NJ 07003, U.S.A.


SCH 39166 {(-)-trans-6,7,7a,8,9,13b-hexahydro-3-chloro-2-hydroxy-N- methyl-5H - benzo -[d]naphtho[2,1b]azepine} has recently been described as a selective D1 antagonist and has entered clinical trials for the treatment of schizophrenia. The tritiated analogue of this compound, [3H]SCH 39166, has now been synthesized and characterized for its in vitro and in vivo binding profiles. [3H]SCH 39166 binds to D1 receptors in a saturable. high-affinity fashion, with a KDof 0.79 nM. In competition studies, D1-selective antagonists like SCH 23390 displaced the binding of [3H]SCH 39166 with nanomolar affinities, whereas antagonists of other receptors exhibited poor affinity. In vivo, [3H]SCH 39166 bound to receptors in rat striatum in a fashion suggestive of D1 selectivity. Further. when the time course for the binding of [3H]SCH 39166 was compared with the behavioral time course of the unlabeled compound, the two durations of action were virtually indistinguishable. Similar studies were performed for SCH 23390 and its tritiated analogue, but the in vivo binding of this radioligand exhibited a duration of action far greater than the behavioral activity of the unlabeled drug. In concert, these data demonstrate that [3H]SCH 39166 selectively labels D1 receptors in vitro and in vivo, and that this drug is superior for in vivo imaging of the D1 receptor.