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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2007 Jun;321(3):1054-61. Epub 2007 Mar 2.

Functional selectivity of hallucinogenic phenethylamine and phenylisopropylamine derivatives at human 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)2A and 5-HT2C receptors.

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Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.


2,5-Dimethoxy-4-substituted phenylisopropylamines and phenethylamines are 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) (5-HT)(2A/2C) agonists. The former are partial to full agonists, whereas the latter are partial to weak agonists. However, most data come from studies analyzing phospholipase C (PLC)-mediated responses, although additional effectors [e.g., phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2))] are associated with these receptors. We compared two homologous series of phenylisopropylamines and phenethylamines measuring both PLA(2) and PLC responses in Chinese hamster ovary-K1 cells expressing human 5-HT(2A) or 5-HT(2C) receptors. In addition, we assayed both groups of compounds as head shake inducers in rats. At the 5-HT(2C) receptor, most compounds were partial agonists for both pathways. Relative efficacy of some phenylisopropylamines was higher for both responses compared with their phenethylamine counterparts, whereas for others, no differences were found. At the 5-HT(2A) receptor, most compounds behaved as partial agonists, but unlike findings at 5-HT(2C) receptors, all phenylisopropylamines were more efficacious than their phenethylamine counterparts. 2,5-Dimethoxyphenylisopropylamine activated only the PLC pathway at both receptor subtypes, 2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine was selective for PLC at the 5-HT(2C) receptor, and 2,5-dimethoxy-4-nitrophenethylamine was PLA(2)-specific at the 5-HT(2A) receptor. For both receptors, the rank order of efficacy of compounds differed depending upon which response was measured. The phenylisopropylamines were strong head shake inducers, whereas their phenethylamine congeners were not, in agreement with in vitro results and the involvement of 5-HT(2A) receptors in the head shake response. Our results support the concept of functional selectivity and indicate that subtle changes in ligand structure can result in significant differences in the cellular signaling profile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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