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Planta Med. 2004 Jul;70(7):603-9.

Vascular activity of (-)-anonaine, (-)-roemerine and (-)-pukateine, three natural 6a(R)-1,2-methylenedioxyaporphines with different affinities for alpha1-adrenoceptor subtypes.

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  • 1Departament de Farmacologia, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de València, Avda. V. Andrés Estellés s/n, 46100 Burjassot, Spain.


We have studied the mechanism of action of three 6a( R)-1,2-methylenedioxyaporphines as vasorelaxant compounds. The alkaloids assayed showed different affinities for the three human cloned alpha (1)-adrenoceptor (AR) subtypes stably expressed in rat-1 fibroblasts, showing lower affinity for alpha(1B)-AR with regard to the alpha(1A)- or alpha(1D)-subtypes. These three natural compounds are more potent inhibitors of [ (3)H]-prazosin binding than of [ (3)H]-diltiazem binding to rat cerebral cortical membranes. As all these alkaloids inhibited noradrenaline (NA)-induced [ (3)H]-inositol phosphate formation in cerebral cortex and rat tail artery, they may be safely viewed as alpha (1)-AR antagonists, as is demonstrated by the vasorelaxant responses observed in isolated rat tail artery and/or aorta precontracted with NA. The alkaloids also inhibited the contractile response evoked by KCl (80 mM) but with a lower potency than that shown against NA-induced contraction. We have also examined their ability to inhibit the different forms of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDE) isolated from bovine aortic smooth muscle and endothelial cells, with negative results. We conclude that N-methylation favours the interaction of (R)-aporphines with all alpha (1)-AR subtypes, and that the topography of the binding site recognizing the basic or protonated nitrogen atom is similar in all three alpha (1)-AR subtypes. The presence of a hydroxy group at C-11 has different effects on the affinity for each alpha (1)-AR subtype but decreases the affinity for Ca (2+) channels. These results confirm and extend the view that subtle changes in the hydroxylation patterns on the aromatic ring of the aporphine structure affect the interactions of these compounds with the three alpha (1)-AR subtypes in different ways, suggesting that the binding site recognizing the aporphine skeleton is different in each of the three subtypes.

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