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J Med Chem. 2013 Oct 24;56(20):7851-61. doi: 10.1021/jm400766k. Epub 2013 Oct 8.

New serotonin 5-HT1A receptor agonists endowed with antinociceptive activity in vivo.

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Departamento de Química Orgánica I, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid , E-28040 Madrid, Spain.


We report the synthesis of new compounds 4-35 based on two different openings (A and B) of the chromane ring present in the previously identified 5-HT1A receptor (5-HT1AR) ligand 3. The synthesized compounds were assessed for binding affinity, selectivity, and functional activity at the 5-HT1AR. Selected candidates resulting from B opening were also evaluated for their potential antinociceptive effect in vivo and pharmacokinetic properties in vitro. Analogue 19 [2-(4-{[2-(2-ethoxyphenoxy)ethyl]amino}butyl)tetrahydro-1H-pyrrolo[1,2-c]imidazole-1,3(2H)-dione] has been characterized as a high-affinity and potent 5-HT1AR agonist (Ki = 2.3 nM; EC50 = 19 nM). Pharmacokinetic studies indicated that compound 19 displays a good metabolic stability in human liver microsomes (t1/2 ∼ 3 h and CLint = 3.5 mL/min/kg, at 5 μM), and a low level of protein binding (25%, at 5 μM). Interestingly, 19 (3 mg/kg, ip, and 30 mg/kg, po) caused significant attenuation of formalin-induced behavior in early and late phases of the mouse intradermal formalin test of pain, and this in vivo effect was reversed by the selective 5-HT1AR antagonist WAY-100635. Thus, the new 5-HT1AR agonist identified in this work, 19, exhibits oral analgesic activity, and the results herein represent a step toward identifying new therapeutics for the control of pain.

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