Fallypride: PET Imaging Radiopharmaceutical Agent for Accurate Measurement of Dopamine Receptor Protein Concentration in the Living Human Brain

The Science

It has not been possible to image the receptor protein nanoscopic concentrations in the human brain. With the support of the Office of Science’s BER Radiopharmaceutical Development Program, Dr. Jogesh Mukherjee and colleagues have developed “fallypride,” a unique fluorine-18-radiolabeled positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agent, for non-invasively measuring the dopamine receptor protein concentration in the human brain. Accurate measurement of receptor protein at nanoscopic concentrations is considered critical for evaluating efficacy of therapeutic drugs for mental illness, understanding disease mechanisms such as schizophrenia, alcoholism and stress, evaluate effects of drugs of abuse in crucial brain areas and study deficits in cognition during aging and in Alzheimer’s disease. These studies using fallypride are currently ongoing at various imaging centers in the U.S. and in Europe. The first paper on the human use of fallypride by Dr. Mukherjee and colleagues appeared in the September issue of the journal Synapse.

Principal Investigator

Jogesh Mukherjee
University of California—Irvine

BER Program Manager

Paul Sammak

U.S. Department of Energy, Biological and Environmental Research (SC-33)
Biological Systems Science Division
[email protected]


Mukherjee, J., B. T. Christian, K. A. Dunigan, B. Shi, T. K. Narayanan, M. Satter, and J. Mantil. 2002.
Brain Imaging of 18F-fallypride in Normal Volunteers: Blood Analysis, Distribution, Test-Retest Studies, and Preliminary Assessment of Sensitivity to Aging Effects on Dopamine D-2/D-3 Receptors,” Synapse 46(3), 170–88. DOI:10.1002/syn.10128.