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Legal status
Legal status
  • In general: legal
CAS Number
PubChem CID
E number{{#property:P628}}
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Chemical and physical data
Molar mass413.29 g/mol
3D model (JSmol)

(-)-2β-Carboisopropoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)tropane (RTI-121, IPCIT) is a stimulant drug used in scientific research, which was developed in the early 1990s.[1] RTI-121 is a phenyltropane based, highly selective dopamine reuptake inhibitor[2] and is derived from methylecgonidine. RTI-121 is a potent and long-lasting stimulant, producing stimulant effects for more than 10 hours after a single dose in mice[3] which would limit its potential uses in humans, as it might have significant abuse potential if used outside of a strictly controlled medical setting. However RTI-121 occupies the dopamine transporter more slowly than cocaine, and so might have lower abuse potential than cocaine itself.[4]


RTI-121 is mainly used in scientific research into the dopamine reuptake transporter. It is more selective for the dopamine transporter than other DAT radioligands such as β-CIT, and so has less nonspecific binding and produces "cleaner" images.[5][6] Various radiolabelled forms of RTI-121 (with different radioactive isotopes of iodine used depending on the application) are used in both humans and animals to map the distribution of dopamine transporters in the brain.[7][8]

Legal Status

RTI-121 is legal in all countries throughout the world as of 2007. Some jurisdictions such as the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand might however consider RTI-121 to be a controlled substance analogue of cocaine on the grounds of its related chemical structure.


  1. Scheffel U, Dannals RF, Wong DF, Yokoi F, Carroll FI, Kuhar MJ. Dopamine transporter imaging with novel, selective cocaine analogs. Neuroreport. 1992 Nov;3(11):969-72.
  2. Boja JW, Cadet JL, Kopajtic TA, Lever J, Seltzman HH, Wyrick CD, Lewin AH, Abraham P, Carroll FI. Selective labeling of the dopamine transporter by the high affinity ligand 3 beta-(4-[125I]iodophenyl)tropane-2 beta-carboxylic acid isopropyl ester. Molecular Pharmacology. 1995 Apr;47(4):779-86.
  3. Fleckenstein AE, Kopajtic TA, Boja JW, Carroll FI, Kuhar MJ. Highly potent cocaine analogs cause long-lasting increases in locomotor activity. European Journal of Pharmacology. 1996 Sep 12;311(2-3):109-14.
  4. Stathis M, Scheffel U, Lever SZ, Boja JW, Carroll FI, Kuhar MJ. Rate of binding of various inhibitors at the dopamine transporter in vivo. Psychopharmacology (Berlin). 1995 Jun;119(4):376-84.
  5. Scanley BE, al-Tikriti MS, Gandelman MS, Laruelle M, Zea-Ponce Y, Baldwin RM, Zoghbi SS, Hoffer PB, Charney DS, Wang S, et al. Comparison of [123I]beta-CIT and [123I]IPCIT as single-photon emission tomography radiotracers for the dopamine transporter in nonhuman primates. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 1995 Jan;22(1):4-11.
  6. Scanley BE, Gandelman MS, Laruelle M, Al-Tikriti MS, Baldwin RM, Zoghbi SS, Hoffer PB, Wang S, Neumeyer JL, Innis RB. [123I]IPCIT and [123I]beta-CIT as SPECT tracers for the dopamine transporter: a comparative analysis in nonhuman primates. Nuclear Medicine and Biology. 2000 Jan;27(1):13-21.
  7. Chen NH, Ding JH, Wang YL. Characterization of [125I]RTI-121 binding to dopamine transporter in vitro. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1997 Mar;18(2):115-20.
  8. Lever JR, Scheffel U, Stathis M, Seltzman HH, Wyrick CD, Abraham P, Parham K, Thomas BF, Boja JW, Kuhar MJ, Carroll FI. Synthesis and in vivo studies of a selective ligand for the dopamine transporter: 3 beta-(4-[125I]iodophenyl) tropan-2 beta-carboxylic acid isopropyl ester ([125I]RTI-121). Nuclear Medicine and Biology. 1996 Apr;23(3):277-84.

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