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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2002 Jul;302(1):359-68.

Characterization of the diarylether sulfonylester (-)-(R)-3-(2-hydroxymethylindanyl-4-oxy)phenyl-4,4,4-trifluoro-1-sulfonate (BAY 38-7271) as a potent cannabinoid receptor agonist with neuroprotective properties.

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  • 1CNS Research, Bayer AG, Business Group Pharma, Aprather Weg 18a, 42096 Wuppertal, Germany.


(-)-(R)-3-(2-Hydroxymethylindanyl-4-oxy)phenyl-4,4,4-trifluoro-1-sulfonate (BAY 38-7271) is a new high-affinity cannabinoid receptor subtype 1 (CB1 receptor) ligand (K(i) = 0.46-1.85 nM; rat brain, human cortex, or recombinant human CB1 receptor), structurally unrelated to any cannabinoid receptor ligand known so far. BAY 38-7271 was characterized as a CB1 receptor agonist in 5-[gamma(35)S]-thiophosphate triethylammonium salt binding assays using rat or human CB1 receptors. In the rat hypothermia assay, BAY 38-7271 induced a dose-dependent reduction in body temperature (minimal effective dose = 6 microg/kg, i.v.); whereas in rats trained to discriminate the CB1/CB2 receptor agonist (-)-cis-3-[2-hydroxy-4(1,1-dimethyl-heptyl)phenyl]-trans-4-(3-hydroxypropyl) cyclohexanol (CP 55,940; 0.03 mg/kg, i.p.) from vehicle, BAY 38-7271 induced complete generalization (3 microg/kg, i.v.). In both in vivo models, a specific CB1 receptor-mediated mechanism was confirmed by demonstrating that the effects of CP 55,940 and BAY 38-7271 were blocked by pretreatment with the selective CB1 receptor antagonist N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamidehydrochloride. In the rat traumatic brain injury model, BAY 38-7271 demonstrated highly potent and efficient neuroprotective properties when administered as a 4-h infusion immediately after induction of subdural hematoma (70% infarct volume reduction at 100 ng/kg/h). Even when applied with a 3-h delay, a significant neuroprotective efficacy could be observed (59% infarct volume reduction at 300 ng/kg/h). The neuroprotective potential of BAY 38-7271 was confirmed in a rat model of focal cerebral ischemia induced by permanent occlusion of the middle cerebral artery. It is concluded that the CB1/CB2 receptor agonist BAY 38-7271 shows pronounced neuroprotective properties that do not result from drug-induced hypothermia and that occur in a dose range devoid of typical cannabinoid-like side effects.

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