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Br J Pharmacol. 1997 May;121(2):157-64.

Receptor specificity and trigemino-vascular inhibitory actions of a novel 5-HT1B/1D receptor partial agonist, 311C90 (zolmitriptan).

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Wellcome Research Laboratories, Beckenham, Kent.


1. 311C90 (zolmitriptan zomig: (S)-4[[3-[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]-1H-indol-5-yl]methyl]-2-oxazolidinone) is a novel 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonist with proven efficacy in the acute treatment of migraine. Here, we describe the receptor specificity of the drug and its actions on trigeminal-evoked plasma protein extravasation into the dura mater of the anaesthetized guinea-pig. 2. At the "5-HT1B-like' receptor mediating vascular contraction (rabbit saphenous vein), the compound was a potent (p[A50] = 6.79 +/- 0.06) partial agonist achieving 77 +/- 4% of the maximum effect to 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). In the same experiments, sumatriptan (p[A50] = 6.48 +/- 0.04) was half as potent as 311C90 and produced 97 +/- 2% of the 5-HT maximum effect. Studies in which receptor inactivation methods were used to estimate the affinity (pKA) and efficacy relative to 5-HT (tau rel) for each agonist confirmed that 311C90 exhibits higher affinity than sumatriptan (pKA = 6.63 +/- 0.04 and 6.16 +/- 0.03, respectively) and that both drugs are partial agonists relative to 5-HT (tau rel = 0.61 +/- 0.03 and 0.63 +/- 0.10, respectively, compared to 5-HT = 1.0). 3. Consistent with its effects in rabbit saphenous vein, 311C90 also produced concentration-dependent contractions of primate basilar artery and human epicardial coronary artery rings. In basilar artery, agonist potency (p[A50] = 6.92 +/- 0.07) was similar to that demonstrated in rabbit saphenous vein, again being 2-3 fold higher than for sumatriptan (p[A50] = 6.46 +/- 0.03). Both agonists produced about 50% of the maximum response obtained with 5-HT in the same preparations. In rings of human coronary artery, the absolute potency of 311C90 and sumatriptan was higher than in primate basilar artery (p[A50] = 7.3 +/- 0.1 and 6.7 +/- 0.1, respectively), but maximum effects relative to 5-HT were lower (37 +/- 8% and 35 +/- 7%, respectively). In both types of vessel, the inability of 5-HT1B/1D agonists to achieve the same maximum as the endogenous agonist 5-HT is explained by the additional presence of 5-HT2A receptors. 4. 311C90 displayed high affinity at human recombinant 5-HT1D (formerly 5-HT1D alpha) and 5-HT1B (formerly 5-HT1D beta) receptors in transfected CHO-K1 cell membranes (pIC50 values = 9.16 +/- 0.12 and 8.32 +/- 0.09, respectively). In intact cells, the drug produced concentration-dependent inhibition of forskolin-stimulated adenylyl cyclase (p[A50] = 9.9 and 9.5, respectively) achieving the same maximum effect as 5-HT. Excepting human recombinant 5-HT1A and 5-ht1F receptors at which the drug behaved as an agonist with modest affinity (pIC50 = 6.45 +/- 0.11 and 7.22 +/- 0.12, respectively), 311C90 exhibited low, or no detectable affinity (pKi or pKB < or = 5.5) at numerous other monoamine receptors, including other 5-HT receptor subtypes. 5. When administered to anaesthetized guinea-pigs ten minutes before unilateral electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion (1.2 mA, 5 Hz, 5 ms, 5 min), 311C90 (3-30 micrograms kg-1, i.v.) caused a dose-dependent inhibition of [125I]-albumin extravasation within the ipsilateral dura mater. At the same doses, the drug also produced dose-dependent falls in cranial vascular conductance (32.3 +/- 7.5% at 30 micrograms kg-1), as measured in the ear by laser doppler flowmetry. 6. These results show that 311C90, a novel member of the 5-HT1B/1D agonist drug class, exhibits a high degree of pharmacological specificity. Its potent partial agonist action at "5-HT1B-like' receptors in intracranial arteries, coupled with potent agonism at 5-HT1D and 5-HT1B receptors and an ability to inhibit neurogenic plasma protein extravasation in the dura, are consistent with its utility as an effective acute treatment for migraine.

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