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J Med Chem. 2007 Mar 8;50(5):951-61. Epub 2007 Feb 13.

Novel sigma receptor ligands: synthesis and biological profile.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Catania, Viale A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the biological profile of new substituted 1-phenyl-2-cyclopropylmethylamines. High affinity for both sigma subtypes was achieved when 4-phenylpiperidin-4-ol (4a-e) and 4-benzylpiperidine moieties were present (5a-e). (1R,2S/1S,2R)-2-[4-Hydroxy-4-phenylpiperidin-1-yl)methyl]-1-(4-methylphenyl)cyclopropanecarboxylate (4b) showed high affinity for the sigma1 sites (Ki = 1.5 nM) and the most favorable sigma1/sigma2 selectivity (Ki(sigma2)/Ki(sigma1) = 33.9). Binding affinity studies showed that 4b binding on N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), dopaminergic (D1, D2, D3), muscarinic, histaminergic H1, adrenergic (alpha1, alpha2), serotoninergic (5-HT2A, 5-HT2C, 5-HT3, 5-HT4, 5-HT6), DA (DAT), and 5-HT (SERT) transporters was not significant. Interestingly, sigma ligands differently induced the expression of tissue transglutaminase (TG-2) in primary astroglial cell cultures. We suggest that 4b may act as a sigma1/sigma2 agonist and that the sigma ligands may modulate TG-2 differently.

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