Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2005 Oct;315(1):346-51. Epub 2005 Jul 12.

Novel cyclic gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) analogs with high affinity and stereoselectivity of binding to GHB sites in rat brain.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicinal Chemistry, The Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a psychotropic compound endogenous to the brain. Despite its potentially great physiological significance, its exact molecular mechanism of action is unknown. GHB is a weak agonist at GABA(B) receptors, but there is also evidence of specific GHB receptor sites, the molecular cloning of which remains a challenge. Ligands with high affinity and specificity for the reported GHB binding site are needed for pharmacological dissection of the GHB and GABA(B) effects and for mapping the structural requirements of the GHB receptor-ligand interactions. For this purpose, we have synthesized and assayed three conformationally restricted GHB analogs for binding against the GHB-specific ligand [3H]NCS-382 [(E,RS)-(6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-5-hydroxy-5H-benzocyclohept-6-ylidene-)acetic acid] in rat brain homogenate. The cyclohexene and cyclopentene analogs, 3-hydroxycyclohex-1-enecarboxylic acid [(RS)-HOCHCA] and 3-hydroxycyclopent-1-enecarboxylic acid [(RS)-HOCPCA], were found to be high-affinity GHB ligands, with IC50 values in the nanomolar range, and had 9 and 27 times, respectively, higher affinity than GHB. The stereo-selectively synthesized R,R-isomer of the trans-cyclopropyl GHB analog, HOCPrCA, proved to have 10-fold higher affinity than its enantiomer. Likewise, the R-enantiomers of HOCHCA and HOCPCA selectively inhibited [3H]NCS-382 binding. The best inhibitor of these, (R)-HOCPCA, has an affinity 39 times higher than GHB and is thus among the best GHB ligands reported to date. Neither of the cycloalkenes showed any affinity (IC50 > 1 mM) for GABA(A) or GABA(B) receptors. These compounds show excellent potential as lead structures and novel tools for studying specific GHB receptor-mediated pharmacology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center