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J Med Chem. 2010 Feb 11;53(3):1338-46. doi: 10.1021/jm901614b.

Design, synthesis, biological properties, and molecular modeling investigations of novel tacrine derivatives with a combination of acetylcholinesterase inhibition and cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonism.

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Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Research Laboratories, C. J. van Houtenlaan 36, 1381 CP Weesp, The Netherlands.


Pyrazolines 7-10 were designed as novel CB(1) receptor antagonists, which exhibited improved turbidimetric aqueous solubilities. On the basis of their extended CB(1) antagonist pharmacophore, hybrid molecules exhibiting cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonistic as well as acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibiting activities were designed. The target compounds 12, 13, 20, and 21 are based on 1 (tacrine) as the AChE inhibitor (AChEI) pharmacophore and two different CB(1) antagonistic pharmacophores. The imidazole-based 20 showed high CB(1) receptor affinity (48 nM) in combination with high CB(1)/CB(2) receptor subtype selectivity (>20-fold) and elicited equipotent AChE inhibitory activity as 1. Molecular modeling studies revealed the presence of a binding pocket in the AChE enzyme which nicely accommodates the CB(1) pharmacophores of the target compounds 12, 13, 20, and 21.

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