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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Farmacêuticas
Print version ISSN 1516-9332
GRALLERT, Sibila Roberta Marques; TAVARES, Leoberto Costa and ARAUJO, Elaine Bortoleti de. Radioligands for benzodiazepine neuroreceptors. Rev. Bras. Cienc. Farm. [online]. 2003, vol.39, n.3, pp.243-257. ISSN 1516-9332. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-93322003000300004.
In the last decade several technological advances allowed the biochemical characterization of many specific transmitters and receptors in the brain and the study of the respective interactions. This review focuses the most important radiopharmaceuticals used in diagnostic nuclear medicine to access neuroreceptors. In this case, radioligands are molecules labeled with positron or photon emission (gamma) radioisotopes that interact with a specific neuroreceptor. For in vivoapplication, these radioligands must present no toxicity and pharmacological properties in the administered dose. The visualization of the neuroreceptors distribution in brain and the study of the neuroreceptors function is possible using labeled radioligands in diagnostic techniques like positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission tomography (SPECT). The same principle can be applied to the investigation of neurochemical abnormalities. This development represents an important tool for the investigation of neurological dysfunction and exploration of functional aspects of the central nervous system.
Keywords : Brain radiotracers; Neuroreceptors; Benzodiazepine receptors; Radiopharmaceuticals.