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Br J Pharmacol. 2006 Oct;149(3):291-9. Epub 2006 Aug 21.

Assays for enhanced activity of low efficacy partial agonists at the D(2) dopamine receptor.

Author information

1
School of Pharmacy, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, Berkshire, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Low efficacy partial agonists at the D2 dopamine receptor may be useful for treating schizophrenia. In this report we describe a method for assessing the efficacy of these compounds based on stimulation of [35S]GTPgammaS binding.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:

Agonist efficacy was assessed from [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding to membranes of CHO cells expressing D2 dopamine receptors in buffers with and without Na+. Effects of Na+ on receptor/G protein coupling were assessed using agonist/[3H]spiperone competition binding assays.

KEY RESULTS:

When [35S]GTPgammaS binding assays were performed in buffers containing Na+, some agonists (aripiprazole, AJ-76, UH-232) exhibited very low efficacy whereas other agonists exhibited measurable efficacy. When Na+ was substituted by N-methyl D-glucamine, the efficacy of all agonists increased (relative to that of dopamine) but particularly for aripiprazole, aplindore, AJ-76, (-)-3-PPP and UH-232. In ligand binding assays, substitution of Na+ by N-methyl D-glucamine increased receptor/G protein coupling for some agonists -. aplindore, dopamine and (-)-3-PPP - but for aripiprazole, AJ-76 and UH-232 there was little effect on receptor/G protein coupling.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Substitution of Na+ by NMDG increases sensitivity in [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding assays so that very low efficacy agonists were detected clearly. For some agonists the effect seems to be mediated via enhanced receptor/G protein coupling whereas for others the effect is mediated at another point in the G protein activation cycle. AJ-76, aripiprazole and UH-232 seem particularly sensitive to this change in assay conditions. This work provides a new method to discover these very low efficacy agonists.

PMID:
16921389
PMCID:
PMC2014272
DOI:
10.1038/sj.bjp.0706866
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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