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Eur J Med Chem. 2012 Dec;58:30-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2012.09.035. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Investigations on the 4-quinolone-3-carboxylic acid motif. 6. Synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of 7-substituted quinolone-3-carboxamide derivatives as high affinity ligands for cannabinoid receptors.

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Dipartimento Farmaco Chimico Tecnologico, Università degli Studi di Siena, Via A. Moro, 53100 Siena, Italy.


Within our studies on structure-activity relationships of 4-quinolone-3-carboxamides as cannabinoid ligands, a new series of compounds characterized by a fluoro or phenylthio group at 7-position and different substituents at N1 and carboxamide nitrogen were synthesized and evaluated for their binding ability to cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) receptors. Most of the compounds showed affinity for one or both cannabinoid receptors at nanomolar concentration, with K(i)(CB1) and K(i)(CB2) values ranging from 2.45 to >10,000 nM and from 0.09 to 957 nM, respectively. The N-(3,4-dichlorobenzyl)amide derivatives 27 and 40 displayed relatively low affinity, but high selectivity towards the CB1 receptor. Compounds 4 and 40, a CB2 and a CB1 ligand, respectively, behaved as partial agonists in the [(35)S]GTPγS assay. They showed very low permeability through (MDCK-MDR1) cells and might, therefore, represent possible lead structures for further optimization in the search for cannabinoid ligands unable to cross the blood-brain barrier.

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