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J Med Chem. 1999 Nov 18;42(23):4778-93.

Design and synthesis of novel alpha(1)(a) adrenoceptor-selective antagonists. 2. Approaches to eliminate opioid agonist metabolites via modification of linker and 4-methoxycarbonyl-4-phenylpiperidine moiety.

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Departments of Chemistry and Pharmacology, Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation, Paramus, NJ 07652, USA.


We have previously described compound 1a as a high-affinity subtype selective alpha(1a) antagonist. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of compound 1a showed its major metabolite to be a mu-opioid agonist, 4-methoxycarbonyl-4-phenylpiperidine (3). Several dihydropyrimidinone analogues were synthesized with the goal of either minimizing the formation of 3 by modification of the linker or finding alternative piperidine moieties which when cleaved as a consequence of metabolism would not give rise to mu-opioid activity. Modification of the linker gave several compounds with good alpha(1a) binding affinity (K(i) = < 1 nM) and selectivity (>300-fold over alpha(1b) and alpha(1d)). In vitro analysis in the microsomal assay revealed these modifications did not significantly affect N-dealkylation and the formation of the piperidine 3. The second approach, however, yielded several piperidine replacements for 3, which did not show significant mu-opioid activity. Several of these compounds maintained good affinity at the alpha(1a) adrenoceptor and selectivity over alpha(1b) and alpha(1d). For example, the piperidine fragments of (+)-73 and (+)-83, viz. 4-cyano-4-phenylpiperidine and 4-methyl-4-phenylpiperidine, were essentially inactive at the mu-opioid receptor (IC(50) > 30 microM vs 3 microM for 3). Compounds (+)-73 and (+)-83 were subjected to detailed in vitro and in vivo characterization. Both these compounds, in addition to their excellent selectivity (>880-fold) over alpha(1b) and alpha(1d), also showed good selectivity over several other recombinant human G-protein coupled receptors. Compounds (+)-73 and (+)-83 showed good functional potency in isolated human prostate tissues, with K(b)s comparable to their in vitro alpha(1a) binding data. In addition, compound (+)-73 also exhibited good uroselectivity (DBP K(b)/IUP K(b) > 20-fold) in the in vivo experiments in dogs, similar to 1a.

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