Dual Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor α4β2 Antagonists/α7 Agonists: Synthesis, Docking Studies, and Pharmacological Evaluation of Tetrahydroisoquinolines and Tetrahydroisoquinolinium Salts

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François Crestey, Anders A. Jensen, Christian Soerensen, Charlotte Busk Magnus, Jesper Andreasen T., Günther Herbert Johannes Peters, Jesper Langgaard Kristensen

We describe the synthesis of tetrahydroisoquinolines and tetrahydroisoquinolinium salts together with their pharmacological properties at various nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. In general, the compounds were α4β2 nAChR antagonists, with the tetrahydroisoquinolinium salts being more portent than the parent tetrahydroisoquinoline derivatives. The most potent α4β2 antagonist, 6c, exhibited submicromolar binding Ki and functional IC50 values and high selectivity for this receptor over the α4β4 and α3β4 nAChRs. Whereas the (S)-6c enantiomer was essentially inactive at α4β2, (R)-6c was a slightly
more potent antagonist than the reference β2-nAChR antagonist DHβΕ. The observation that the α4β2 activity resided exclusively in the (R)-enantiomer was in full agreement with docking studies. Several of tetrahydroisoquinolinium salts also displayed agonist activity at the α7 nAChR. Preliminary in vivo evaluation revealed antidepressant-like effects of both (R)-5c and (R)-6c in the mouse forced swim test, supporting the therapeutic potential of α4β2 nAChR antagonists for this indication.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Volume61
Pages (from-to)1719-1729
ISSN0022-2623
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 189155613