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J Med Chem. 2003 Jul 31;46(16):3526-35.

Synthesis and pharmacological characterization of a series of geometrically constrained 5-HT(2A/2C) receptor ligands.

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  • 1Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy and Pharmacal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1333, USA.


In studies of the SAR of phenethylamine-type serotonin 5-HT(2A) receptor agonists, substituted conformationally constrained tetrahydronaphthofurans were designed to investigate the optimal conformation of the 2-aminoethyl moiety. These compounds were tested using in vitro assays for affinity at 5-HT(1A), 5-HT(2A), and 5-HT(2C) receptors. The benzofuran-containing analogues, 6a and 6b, had significantly higher affinity for the 5-HT receptors tested than did the benzodihydrofuran-containing compounds, 4a, 4b, 5a, and 5b. The most potent compound (8-bromo-6-methoxy-4,5-dihydro-3H-naphtho[1,8-bc]furan-5-yl)aminomethane, 6b, had K(i) values for displacement of [(125)I]-DOI from 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(2C) cloned rat receptors of 2.6 and 1.1 nM, respectively. Despite their high affinity, the compounds of this naphthofuran series lacked high intrinsic activity at the 5-HT(2A) receptor as measured using the phosphoinositide hydrolysis assay. The most potent compound in vitro, 6b, was tested in the two-lever drug discrimination assay in rats trained to discriminate LSD from saline, and failed to substitute, a result typical for compounds with low intrinsic activity. Thus, although conformational constraint has led to high-affinity 5-HT(2A) ligands with partial agonist activity, all of the spatial and steric properties of the ligand necessary for full receptor activation have not yet been identified.

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