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J Med Chem. 1980 May;23(5):506-11.

Inhibitors of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase and epinephrine biosynthesis. 1. Chloro-substituted 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinolines.


In a search for inhibitors of epinephrine biosynthesis as potential therapeutic agents, a series of 13 ring-chlorinated 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinolines was prepared. These compounds were tested initially for their ability to inhibit rabbit adrenal phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT) in vitro. Enzyme-inhibitor dissociation constants, determined for the six most potent members of the series, indicated the following order of decreasing potency: 7,8-Cl2 greater than 6,7,8-Cl3 greater than 7-Cl approximately 5,6,7,8-Cl4 greater than 5,7,8-Cl3. These compounds were subsequently examined for PNMT-inhibiting activity in intact rats and mice. 7,8-Dichloro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (13, SK&F 64139) was the most potent member of the series both in vitro and in vivo and is currently undergoing clinical investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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