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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2002 Nov 4;12(21):3067-71.

bis-Azaaromatic quaternary ammonium analogues: ligands for alpha4beta2* and alpha7* subtypes of neuronal nicotinic receptors.

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Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0082, USA.


A series of bis-nicotinium, bis-pyridinium, bis-picolinium, bis-quinolinium and bis-isoquinolinium compounds was evaluated for their binding affinity at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) using rat brain membranes. N,N'-Decane-1,12-diyl-bis-nicotinium diiodide (bNDI) exhibited the highest affinity for [(3)H]nicotine binding sites (K(i)=330 nM), but did not inhibit [(3)H]methyllycaconitine binding (K(i) >100 microM), indicative of an interaction with alpha4beta2*, but not alpha7* receptor subtypes, respectively. Also, bNDI inhibited (IC(50)=3.76 microM) nicotine-evoked (86)Rb(+) efflux from rat thalamic synaptosomes, indicating antagonist activity at alpha4beta2* nAChRs. N,N'-Dodecane-1,12-diyl-bis-quinolinium dibromide (bQDDB) exhibited highest affinity for [(3)H]methyllycaconitine binding sites (K(i)=1.61 microM), but did not inhibit [(3)H]nicotine binding (K(i)>100 microM), demonstrating an interaction with alpha7*, but not alpha4beta2* nAChRs. Thus, variation of N-n-alkyl chain length together with structural modification of the azaaromatic quaternary ammonium moiety afforded selective antagonists for the alpha4beta2* nAChR subtype, as well as ligands with selectivity at alpha7* nAChRs.

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