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J Med Chem. 2006 Jul 27;49(15):4459-69.

Discovery and pharmacological evaluation of growth hormone secretagogue receptor antagonists.

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Metabolic Disease Research, Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Abbott Laboratories, 100 Abbott Park Road, Abbott Park, Illinois 60064-6098, USA.


The discovery and pharmacological evaluation of potent, selective, and orally bioavailable growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) antagonists are reported. Previously, 2,4-diaminopyrimidine-based GHS-R antagonists reported from our laboratories have been shown to be dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitors. By comparing the X-ray crystal structure of DHFR docked with our GHS-R antagonists and GHS-R modeling, we designed and synthesized a series of potent and DHFR selective GHS-R antagonists with good pharmacokinetic (PK) profiles. An amide derivative 13d (Ca2+ flux IC50 = 188 nM, [brain]/[plasma] = 0.97 @ 8 h in rat) showed a 10% decrease in 24 h food intake in rats, and over 5% body weight reduction after 14-day oral treatment in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. In comparison, a urea derivative 14c (Ca2+ flux IC50 = 7 nM, [brain]/[plasma] = 0.0 in DIO) failed to show significant effect on food intake in the acute feeding DIO model. These observations demonstrated for the first time that peripheral GHS-R blockage with small molecule GHS-R antagonists might not be sufficient for suppressing appetite and inducing body weight reduction.

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