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Mol Pharmacol. 1993 Nov;44(5):1008-15.

Structure-activity relationships for cannabinoid receptor-binding and analgesic activity: studies of bicyclic cannabinoid analogs.

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


Cannabimimetic compounds, such as delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC), evoke analgesia in addition to other behavioral responses in humans and animals. The cannabinoid receptor mediating this response has been characterized by its ability to bind the cannabinoid agonist [3H]CP-55,940 and to inhibit adenylyl cyclase via Gi. An investigation of structural requirements for antinociceptive activity of cannabinoid structures led to the development of a simple bicyclic cannabinoid agonist, CP-47,497, that possessed a spectrum of cannabinoid activities in animals that resembled that of delta 9-THC. The present investigation examines several series of CP-47,497 analogs for their binding affinity at the cannabinoid receptor and their ability to evoke analgesia in rodents. Analogs substituted at the C-3 alkyl side chain exhibited maximal affinity for the cannabinoid receptor with side chains of seven or eight carbons in length. Analgesic potency paralleled the receptor-binding affinity. The cyclohexyl ring was optimized as a six- or seven-membered ring structure for binding as well as analgesic activity. Cyclohexyl alkyl side chain extensions of up to four carbons in length had little influence on the affinity for the receptor or analgesic activity. Hydroxyalkyl side chains exhibited optimal binding affinity and antinociceptive activity at three or four carbon atoms in length; however, polar groups closer to the ring diminished binding to the receptor. The importance of the phenolic and cyclohexyl hydroxyl groups for binding affinity was demonstrated. In general, analgesic activity correlated well with the affinity of these analogs for the cannabinoid receptor. Exceptions could be explained by metabolic transformations likely to occur in vivo.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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