Novel high-affinity and selective biaromatic 4-substituted ¿-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) analogues as GHB ligands: design, synthesis, and binding studies

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Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a metabolite of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and has been proposed to function as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator. GHB is used in the treatment of narcolepsy and is a drug of abuse. GHB binds to both GABA(B) receptors and specific high-affinity GHB sites in brain, of which the latter have not been linked unequivocally to function, but are speculated to be GHB receptors. In this study, a series of biaromatic 4-substituted GHB analogues, including 4'-phenethylphenyl, 4'-styrylphenyl, and 4'-benzyloxyphenyl GHB analogues, were synthesized and characterized pharmacologically in a [3H](E,RS)-(6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-5-hydroxy-5H-benzocyclohept-6-ylidene)acetic acid ([3H]NCS-382) binding assay and in GABA(A) and GABA(B) receptor binding assays. The compounds were selective for the high-affinity GHB binding sites and several displayed Ki values below 100 nM. The affinity of the 4-[4'-(2-iodobenzyloxy)phenyl] GHB analogue 17b was shown to reside predominantly with the R-enantiomer (Ki = 22 nM), which has higher affinity than previously reported GHB ligands.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number24
Pages (from-to)8088-8095
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ID: 9768917