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J Med Chem. 1999 Apr 8;42(7):1115-22.

Characterization of the binding site of the histamine H3 receptor. 1. Various approaches to the synthesis of 2-(1H-imidazol-4-yl)cyclopropylamine and histaminergic activity of (1R,2R)- and (1S,2S)-2-(1H-imidazol-4-yl)-cyclopropylamine.

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Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Division of Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Pharmacochemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1083, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Various approaches to the synthesis of all four stereoisomers of 2-(1H-imidazol-4-yl)cyclopropylamine (cyclopropylhistamine) are described. The rapid and convenient synthesis and resolution of trans-cyclopropylhistamine is reported. The absolute configuration of its enantiomers was determined by single-crystal X-ray crystallographic analysis. The distinct trans-cyclopropylhistamine enantiomers were tested for their activity and affinity on the histamine H3 receptor. (1S,2S)-Cyclopropylhistamine (VUF 5297) acts as an agonist both on the rat cortex (pD2 = 7.1; alpha = 0.75) and on guinea pig jejunum (pD2 = 6.6; alpha = 0.75). Its enantiomer, (1R, 2R)-cyclopropylhistamine (VUF 5296), is about 1 order of magnitude less active. Both enantiomers show weak activity on H1 and H2 receptors. All synthetic attempts to cis-cyclopropylhistamine were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, the results of this study provide an ideal template for molecular modeling studies of histamine H3 receptor ligands.

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