A novel synthesis of the translocator protein (TSPO) ligand 7-chloro-N,N,5-trimethyl-4-oxo-3-phenyl-3,5-dihydro-4H-pyridazino[4,5-b]indole-1-acetamide (SSR180575, 3) was achieved in four steps from commercially available starting materials. Focused structure-activity relationship development about the pyridazinoindole ring at the N3 position led to the discovery of 7-chloro-N,N,5-trimethyl-4-oxo-3(6-fluoropyridin-2-yl)-3,5-dihydro-4H-pyridazino[4,5-b]indole-1-acetamide (14), a novel ligand of comparable affinity. Radiolabeling with fluorine-18 ((18)F) yielded 7-chloro-N,N,5-trimethyl-4-oxo-3(6-[(18)F]fluoropyridin-2-yl)-3,5-dihydro-4H-pyridazino[4,5-b]indole-1-acetamide ([(18)F]-14) in high radiochemical yield and specific activity. In vivo studies of [(18)F]-14 revealed this agent as a promising probe for molecular imaging of glioma.
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