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Eur J Med Chem. 2001 Apr;36(4):375-88.

Syntheses and evaluation of halogenated cytisine derivatives and of bioisosteric thiocytisine as potent and selective nAChR ligands.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Philipps-University, Marbacher Weg 6, D-35032 Marburg, Germany.


We have developed one-step syntheses of halogenated derivatives of (-)-cytisine featuring a halogen substituent at positions 3, 5 or 3 and 5 of the 2-pyridone fragment, and prepared the novel bioisosteric thiocytisine by oxygen-sulphur exchange. The affinities of these pyridone-modified analogs of (-)-cytisine for (alpha 4)(2)(beta 2)(3) and alpha 7* nAChRs in rat forebrain membranes were determined by competition with (+/-)-[(3)H]epibatidine and [(3)H]MLA, respectively. The 3-halocytisines 7 possess subnanomolar affinities for (alpha 4)(2)(beta 2)(3) nAChRs, higher than those found for (-)-cytisine as well as for the 5-halocytisines 8 and 3,5-dihalocytisines 6. In contrast to the parent alkaloid the 3-halogenated species display much a higher affinity for the alpha 7* nAChR subtype. The most potent molecule was 3-bromocytisine (7b) with preferential selectivity (200-fold) for the (alpha 4)(2)(beta 2)(3) subtype [K(i)=10 pM (alpha 4 beta 2) and 2.0 nM (alpha 7*)]. Replacement of the lactam with a thiolactam pharmacophore to thiocytisine (12) resulted in a subnanomolar affinity for the (alpha 4)(2)(beta 2)(3) nAChR subtype (K(i)=0.832 nM), but in a drastic decrease of affinity for the alpha 7* subtype; thiocytisine (12) has a K(i) value of 4000 nM (alpha 7*), giving a selectivity of 4800-fold for the neuronal (alpha 4)(2)(beta 2)(3)-nAChR and thus displaying the best affinity-selectivity profile in the series under consideration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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