Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2004 Apr;18(2):157-61.

The local anesthetic activity of Aconitum alkaloids can be explained by their structural properties: a QSAR analysis.

Author information

  • 1Molecular Design and Information Technology Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Alkaloids isolated from Aconitum roots exhibit anesthetic effects at peripheral nerves. We performed the present quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) analysis in order to understand the mechanism of action as local anesthetics of 11 Aconitum alkaloids. The alkaloids with the highest anesthetic activity had an aroyl/aroyloxy group at R14 position while the weaker anesthetic alkaloids had the aroyloxy group at R4. The stable compounds exhibited a higher local anesthetic activity than the unstable compounds. In relation to the reactivity indexes of atoms on the aromatic ring, C2' was more reactive while C3' and C5' were less reactive in the compounds with the highest anesthetic activity. Reactivity of N, C1', C4' and C6' was similar between the two groups of alkaloids. The pKa was approximately 7.3 in both groups. The local anesthetic ED50 of alkaloids was significantly inversely related to molecular weight, core-core repulsion energy, steric energy and RI-C2', and directly related to electronic energy, total energy, RI-C5' and to the heat of formation. In conclusion, we identified a set of structural parameters that are related to the local anesthetic activity of Aconitum alkaloids. Our findings are useful to understand the mechanism of action of these alkaloids and to provide a rational for chemical manipulation of the compounds in order to obtain potent derivates with minor toxicity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk