Dose-dependent, saturable occupancy of the metabotropic glutamate subtype 5 receptor by fenobam as measured with [11C]ABP688 PET imaging

William B. Mathews, Hiroto Kuwabara, Kirstie Stansfield, Heather Valentine, Mohab Alexander, Anil Kumar, John Hilton, Robert F. Dannals, Dean F. Wong, Fabrizio Gasparini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fenobam is a negative allosteric modulator of the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5) with inverse agonist activity and is expected to contribute to the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders involving dysfunction of mGluR5 including Fragile X syndrome. This study examined whether [11C]ABP688, an antagonist PET radioligand, competes with fenobam for the same binding site in the nonhuman primate brain and would allow examination of occupancy-plasma concentration relationships in the evaluation of the drug for target disorders in the human brain. Four paired PET studies with [11C]ABP688 were performed in baboons at a baseline condition and after intravenous treatment with fenobam at different dose levels (0.3-1.33 mg/kg). Total distribution volume (VT) and binding potential (BPND) using the cerebellum as a reference region were obtained by the plasma reference graphical method. Then it was examined whether occupancy follows a dose-dependent, saturating pattern that was predicted by a modified first-order Hill equation in individual regions. Baseline regional VT and BPND values agreed with previously published data. Occupancy showed dose-dependent and saturating patterns in individual regions, reaching >90% occupancy at 1.33 mg/kg dose of fenobam in the majority of regions. To our knowledge, this is the first use of PET to characterize the mGluR5 therapeutic drug fenobam. This study demonstrates a proof of principle for determining the in vivo occupancy of fenobam in primates. The results indicate that [11C]ABP688 and PET may be useful for examination of occupancy of mGluR5 by fenobam, which should prove to be useful for designing future studies and treatment of human disease states. Synapse 68:565-573, 2014.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-573
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Fenobam
  • Glutamate
  • MGluR5
  • Occupancy
  • PET
  • [C]ABP688

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Dose-dependent, saturable occupancy of the metabotropic glutamate subtype 5 receptor by fenobam as measured with [11C]ABP688 PET imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this