Skip to main content

Development of New PET tracers for in vivo 5-HT2A and 5-HT7 Brain Imaging


Disturbances in the serotonin (5-HT) transmitter system are seen in many neuropsychiatric disorders and brain disorders cause approximately one-third of the burden of illness in Europe. The aim of our proposal is to develop tools for in vivo imaging of the human brain with particular focus on the 5-HT7 and the 5-HT2A receptor. Both the 5-HT7 and 5-HT2A receptors are recognised as being involved in the pathophysiology of brain disorders and are also important drug targets.
Today, no suitable PET radiotracer exists for 5-HT7 receptor brain imaging, but access to such a radiotracer would enable new groundbreaking discoveries in human brain disorders. It would also allow the pharmaceutical industry to assess their compounds’ blood-brain barrier penetration and receptor occupancy in humans prior to clinical trials and thereby importantly guide the choice of drug dose. With the development of our promising 5-HT2A receptor agonist [11C]Cimbi-36 we will explore the exciting prospects of its ability to image the brain’s own 5-HT release under pharmacological and functional challenges. Our last goal is to develop a general method for 18F-labelling of aromatic rings that could expand the possibilities for 18-F radiolabelling with this longer-lived radioisotope and thereby enable dissemination throughout Europe to complete, e.g. multi-center studies with productions in a few European centres.

On a world-wide scale, there is a severe shortage of skilled and experienced PET radiochemists. The steeply increasing numbers of PET centres throughout Europe has generated an urgent and unmet need for the type of cross-disciplinary skills that will be provided through the planned training programme.

The project has been initiated and the concepts tested over the last 9 months. This has enabled us to improve the research project further and to develop a pertinent contingency plan. Thus, we find that the timing to carry out the project is just right now.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call


Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 219 590,40
Administrative Contact
Ivan Kristoffersen (Mr.)