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J Med Chem. 1995 Aug 4;38(16):3138-45.

(1S,2S)-1-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-(4-hydroxy-4-phenylpiperidino)-1-propanol: a potent new neuroprotectant which blocks N-methyl-D-aspartate responses.

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  • 1Central Research Division, Pfizer Inc., Groton, Connecticut 06340, USA.


(1S,2S)-1-(4-Hydroxyphenyl)-2-(4-hydroxy-4-phenylpiperidino)-1-propanol (20, CP-101,606) has been identified as a potent and selective N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist through a structure activity relation (SAR) program based on ifenprodil, a known antihypertensive agent with NMDA antagonist activity. Sites on the threo-ifenprodil skeleton explored in this report include the pendent methyl group (H, methyl, and ethyl nearly equipotent; propyl much weaker), the spacer group connecting the C-4 phenyl group to the piperidine ring (an alternating potency pattern with 0 and 2 carbon atoms yielding the greatest potency), and simple phenyl substitution (little effect). While potent NMDA antagonists were obtained with a two atom spacer, this arrangement also increased alpha 1 adrenergic affinity. Introduction of a hydroxyl group into the C-4 position on these piperidine ring resulted in substantial reduction in alpha 1 adrenergic affinity. The combination of these observations was instrumental in the discovery of 20. This compound potently protects cultured hippocampal neurons from glutamate toxicity (IC50 = 10 nM) while possessing little of the undesired alpha 1 adrenergic affinity (IC50 approximately 20 microM) of ifenprodil. Furthermore, 20 appears to lack the psychomotor stimulant effects of nonselective competitive and channel-blocking NMDA antagonists. Thus, 20 shows great promise as a neuroprotective agent and may lack the side effects of compounds currently in clinical trials.

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