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J Med Chem. 2000 Mar 9;43(5):984-94.

Synthesis of N-substituted 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)piperidines, 4-(4-hydroxybenzyl)piperidines, and (+/-)-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)pyrrolidines: selective antagonists at the 1A/2B NMDA receptor subtype.

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CoCensys, Inc., 213 Technology Drive, Irvine, California 92618, USA.


Antagonists at the 1A/2B subtype of the NMDA receptor (NR1A/2B) are typically small molecules that consist of a 4-benzyl- or a 4-phenylpiperidine with an omega-phenylalkyl substituent on the heterocyclic nitrogen. Many of these antagonists, for example ifenprodil (1), incorporate a 4-hydroxy substituent on the omega-phenyl group. In this study, the position of this 4-hydroxy substituent was transferred from the omega-phenyl group to the benzyl or phenyl group located on the 4-position of the piperidine ring. Analogues incorporating pyrrolidine in lieu of piperidine were also prepared. Electrical recordings using cloned receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes show that high-potency antagonists at the NR1A/2B subtype are obtained employing N-(omega-phenylalkyl)-substituted 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)piperidine, 4-(4-hydroxybenzyl)piperidine, and (+/-)-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)pyrrolidine as exemplified by 21 (IC(50) = 0.022 microM), 33 (IC(50) = 0.059 microM), and 40 (IC(50) = 0.017 microM), respectively. These high-potency antagonists are >1000 times more potent at the NR1A/2B subtype than at either the NR1A/2A or NR1A/2C subtypes. The binding affinities of 21 at alpha(1)-adrenergic receptors ([(3)H]prazosin, IC(50) = 0.54 microM) and dopamine D2 receptors ([(3)H]raclopride, IC(50) = 1.2 microM) are reduced by incorporating a hydroxy group onto the 4-position of the piperidine ring and the beta-carbon of the N-alkyl spacer to give (+/-)-27: IC(50) NR1A/2B, 0.026; alpha(1), 14; D2, 105 microM. The high-potency phenolic antagonist 21 and its low-potency O-methylated analogue 18 are both potent anticonvulsants in a mouse maximal electroshock-induced seizure (MES) study (ED(50) (iv) = 0.23 and 0.56 mg/kg, respectively). These data indicate that such compounds penetrate the blood-brain barrier but their MES activity may not be related to NMDA receptor antagonism.

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