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Mol Pharmacol. 1988 Mar;33(3):297-302.

Nonclassical cannabinoid analgetics inhibit adenylate cyclase: development of a cannabinoid receptor model.

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Department of Pharmacology, St. Louis University Medical School, Missouri 63104.


Extensive structure-activity relationship studies have demonstrated that specific requirements within the cannabinoid structure are necessary to produce potent analgesia. A three-point association between the agonist and the receptor mediating analgesia consists of: 1) the C ring hydroxyl, 2) the phenolic A ring hydroxyl, and 3) the A ring alkyl hydrophobic side chain. Potent tricyclic and bicyclic structures were synthesized as "nonclassical" cannabinoid analgetics that conform to this agonist-receptor three-point interaction model. At the cellular level, centrally active cannabinoid drugs inhibit adenylate cyclase activity in a neuroblastoma cell line. The structure-activity relationship profile for inhibition of adenylate cyclase in vitro was consistent with this same three-point association of agonists with the receptor. A correlation exists between the potency of drugs to produce analgesia in vivo and to inhibit adenylate cyclase in vitro. Enantio- and stereoselectivity were exhibited by the nonclassical cannabinoid compounds for both the analgetic response and the ability to inhibit adenylate cyclase. The magnitude of the enantioselective response was equal for both the biochemical and physiological endpoints. Based on the parallels in structure-activity relationships and the enantioselective effects, it is postulated that the receptor that is associated with the regulation of adenylate cyclase in vitro may be the same receptor as that mediating analgesia in vivo. A conceptualization of the cannabinoid analgetic receptor is presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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