Discovery of Potent Dual PPAR? Agonists/CB1 Ligands.
ABSTRACT: This letter describes the synthesis and in vitro and in vivo evaluation of dual ligands targeting the cannabinoid and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR). These compounds were obtained from fusing the pharmacophores of fibrates and the diarylpyrazole rimonabant, a cannabinoid receptor antagonist. They are the first examples of dual compounds with nanomolar affinity for both PPAR? and cannabinoid receptors. Besides, lead compound 2 proved to be CB1 selective. Unexpectedly, the phenol intermediates tested were equipotent (compound 1 as compared to 2) or even more potent (compound 3 as compared with 4). This discovery opens the way to design new dual ligands.
Project description:Cannabinoid (CB) and opioid systems are both involved in analgesia, food intake, mood and behavior. Due to the co-localization of µ-opioid (MOR) and CB1 receptors in various regions of the central nervous system (CNS) and their ability to form heterodimers, bivalent ligands targeting to both these systems may be good candidates to investigate the existence of possible cross-talking or synergistic effects, also at sub-effective doses. In this work, we selected from a small series of new Rimonabant analogs one CB1R reverse agonist to be conjugated to the opioid fragment Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-Phe-NH2. The bivalent compound (9) has been used for in vitro binding assays, for in vivo antinociception models and in vitro hypothalamic perfusion test, to evaluate the neurotransmitters release.
Project description:To date, the endogenous ligands described for cannabinoid receptors have been derived from membrane lipids. To identify a peptide ligand for CB(1) cannabinoid receptors, we used the recently described conformation-state sensitive antibodies and screened a panel of endogenous peptides from rodent brain or adipose tissue. This led to the identification of hemopressin (PVNFKFLSH) as a peptide ligand that selectively binds CB(1) cannabinoid receptors. We find that hemopressin is a CB(1) receptor-selective antagonist, because it is able to efficiently block signaling by CB(1) receptors but not by other members of family A G protein-coupled receptors (including the closely related CB(2) receptors). Hemopressin also behaves as an inverse agonist of CB(1) receptors, because it is able to block the constitutive activity of these receptors to the same extent as its well characterized antagonist, rimonabant. Finally, we examine the activity of hemopressin in vivo using different models of pain and find that it exhibits antinociceptive effects when administered by either intrathecal, intraplantar, or oral routes, underscoring hemopressin's therapeutic potential. These results represent a demonstration of a peptide ligand for CB(1) cannabinoid receptors that also exhibits analgesic properties. These findings are likely to have a profound impact on the development of novel therapeutics targeting CB(1) receptors.
Project description:The allosteric modulator 1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-(3-(6-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)pyridin-2-yl)phenyl)urea (PSNCBAM-1, 2) bound the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and antagonized G protein coupling. This compound demonstrated potent anorectic effects similar to the CB1 antagonist rimonabant that once was marketed for the treatment of obesity, suggesting a new chemical entity for the discovery of antiobesity drugs. To increase structural diversity of this class of CB1 ligands, we designed and synthesized two classes of novel analogues, in which the pyridine ring of 2 was replaced by a pyrimidine ring. These positively modulate the binding of the CB1 orthosteric agonist CP55,940 while exhibiting an antagonism of G-protein coupling activity. Interestingly, compounds 7d and 8d demonstrated ERK1/2 phosphorylation mediated via ?-arrestin unlike the orthosteric CP55,940 that does so in a G protein-dependent manner. These can serve as new lead compounds for the future development of CB1 allosteric modulators that show biased agonism and potentially antiobesity behavior via a new mechanism.
Project description:Over the years, the knowledge regarding the relevance of the cannabinoid system to the regulation of metabolism has grown steadily. A central interaction between the cannabinoid system and ghrelin has been suggested to regulate food intake. Although the stomach is the main source of ghrelin and CB1 receptor expression in the stomach has been described, little information is available regarding the possible interaction between the gastric cannabinoid and ghrelin systems in the integrated control of energy homeostasis. The main objective of the present work was to assess the functional interaction between these two systems in terms of food intake using a combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches. The present work demonstrates that the peripheral blockade of the CB1 receptor by rimonabant treatment decreased food intake but only in food-deprived animals. This anorexigenic effect is likely a consequence of decreases in gastric ghrelin secretion induced by the activation of the mTOR/S6K1 intracellular pathway in the stomach following treatment with rimonabant. In support of this supposition, animals in which the mTOR/S6K1 intracellular pathway was blocked by chronic rapamycin treatment, rimonabant had no effect on ghrelin secretion. Vagal communication may also be involved because rimonabant treatment was no longer effective when administered to animals that had undergone surgical vagotomy. In conclusion, to the best of our knowledge, the present work is the first to describe a CB1 receptor-mediated mechanism that influences gastric ghrelin secretion and food intake through the mTOR pathway.
Project description:Most triacylglycerol-lowering fibrates have been developed in the 1960s-1980s before their molecular target, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR?), was identified. Twenty-one ligand-bound PPAR? structures have been deposited in the Protein Data Bank since 2001; however, binding modes of fibrates and physiological ligands remain unknown. Here we show thirty-four X-ray crystallographic structures of the PPAR? ligand-binding domain, which are composed of a "Center" and four "Arm" regions, in complexes with five endogenous fatty acids, six fibrates in clinical use, and six synthetic PPAR? agonists. High-resolution structural analyses, in combination with coactivator recruitment and thermostability assays, demonstrate that stearic and palmitic acids are presumably physiological ligands; coordination to Arm III is important for high PPAR? potency/selectivity of pemafibrate and GW7647; and agonistic activities of four fibrates are enhanced by the partial agonist GW9662. These results renew our understanding of PPAR? ligand recognition and contribute to the molecular design of next-generation PPAR-targeted drugs.
Project description:Nicotine, the main psychoactive component of tobacco, and (-)-?(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, play major roles in tobacco and marijuana dependence as reinforcers of drug-seeking and drug-taking behavior. Drugs that act as inverse agonists of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the brain can attenuate the rewarding and abuse-related effects of nicotine and THC, but their clinical use is hindered by potentially serious side effects. The recently developed CB1-receptor neutral antagonists may provide an alternative therapeutic approach to nicotine and cannabinoid dependence. Here we compare attenuation of nicotine and THC reinforcement and reinstatement in squirrel monkeys by the CB1-receptor inverse agonist rimonabant and by the recently developed CB1-receptor neutral antagonist AM4113. Both rimonabant and AM4113 reduced two effects of nicotine and THC that play major roles in tobacco and marijuana dependence: (1) maintenance of high rates of drug-taking behavior, and (2) priming- or cue-induced reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior in abstinent subjects (models of relapse). In contrast, neither rimonabant nor AM4113 modified cocaine-reinforced or food-reinforced operant behavior under similar experimental conditions. However, both rimonabant and AM4113 reduced cue-induced reinstatement in monkeys trained to self-administer cocaine, suggesting the involvement of a common cannabinoid-mediated mechanism in the cue-induced reinstatement for different drugs of abuse. These findings point to CB1-receptor neutral antagonists as a new class of medications for treatment of both tobacco dependence and cannabis dependence.
Project description:Substantial challenges exist for investigating the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1)-mediated discriminative stimulus effects of the endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide; AEA), compared with exogenous CB1 receptor agonists, such as ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the synthetic cannabinoid CP55,940. Specifically, each endocannabinoid is rapidly degraded by the respective hydrolytic enzymes, monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Whereas MAGL inhibitors partially substitute for THC and fully substitute for CP55,940, FAAH inhibitors do not substitute for either drug. Interestingly, combined FAAH-MAGL inhibition results in full THC substitution, and the dual FAAH-MAGL inhibitor SA-57 serves as its own discriminative training stimulus. Because MAGL inhibitors fully substitute for SA-57, we tested whether the selective MAGL inhibitor MJN110 would serve as a training stimulus. Twelve of 13 C57BL/6J mice learned to discriminate MJN110 from vehicle, and the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant dose-dependently blocked its discriminative stimulus. CP55,940, SA-57, and another MAGL inhibitor JZL184, fully substituted for MJN110. In contrast, the FAAH inhibitor PF-3845 failed to substitute for the MJN110 discriminative stimulus, but produced a 1.6 (1.1-2.2; 95% confidence interval) leftward shift in the MJN110 dose-response curve. Inhibitors of other relevant enzymes (i.e., ABHD6, COX-2) and nicotine did not engender substitution. Diazepam partially substituted for MJN110, but rimonabant failed to block this partial effect. These findings suggest that MAGL normally throttles 2-AG stimulation of CB1 receptors to a magnitude insufficient to produce cannabimimetic subjective effects. Accordingly, inhibitors of this enzyme may release this endogenous brake producing effects akin to those produced by exogenously administered cannabinoids.
Project description:Type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) antagonists might be useful for treating obesity, liver disease, metabolic syndrome, and dyslipidemias. Unfortunately, inhibition of CB1 in the central nervous system (CNS) produces adverse effects, including depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation in some patients, which led to withdrawal of the pyrazole inverse agonist rimonabant (SR141716A) from European markets. Efforts are underway to produce peripherally selective CB1 antagonists to circumvent CNS-associated adverse effects. In this study, novel analogs of rimonabant (1) were explored in which the 1-aminopiperidine group was switched to a 4-aminopiperidine, attached at the 4-amino position (5). The piperidine nitrogen was functionalized with carbamates, amides, and sulfonamides, providing compounds that are potent inverse agonists of hCB1 with good selectivity for hCB1 over hCB2. Select compounds were further studied using in vitro models of brain penetration, oral absorption and metabolic stability. Several compounds were identified with predicted minimal brain penetration and good metabolic stability. In vivo pharmacokinetic testing revealed that inverse agonist 8c is orally bioavailable and has vastly reduced brain penetration compared to rimonabant.
Project description:The endocannabinoid system can modulate energy homeostasis by regulating feeding behaviour as well as peripheral energy storage and utilization. Importantly, many of its metabolic actions are mediated through the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), whose hyperactivation is associated with obesity and impaired metabolic function. Herein, we explored the effects of administering rimonabant, a selective CB1R inverse agonist, upon key metabolic parameters in young (4 month old) and aged (17 month old) adult male C57BL/6 mice. Daily treatment with rimonabant for 14 days transiently reduced food intake in young and aged mice; however, the anorectic response was more profound in aged animals, coinciding with a substantive loss in body fat mass. Notably, reduced insulin sensitivity in aged skeletal muscle and liver concurred with increased CB1R mRNA abundance. Strikingly, rimonabant was shown to improve glucose tolerance and enhance skeletal muscle and liver insulin sensitivity in aged, but not young, adult mice. Moreover, rimonabant-mediated insulin sensitization in aged adipose tissue coincided with amelioration of low-grade inflammation and repressed lipogenic gene expression. Collectively, our findings indicate a key role for CB1R in aging-related insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction and highlight CB1R blockade as a potential strategy for combating metabolic disorders associated with aging.
Project description:Recently, ?7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), primarily activated by binding of orthosteric agonists, represent a target for anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug development. These receptors may also be modulated by positive allosteric modulators (PAMs), ago-allosteric ligands (ago-PAMs), and ?7-silent agonists. Activation of ?7 nAChRs has been reported to increase the brain levels of endogenous ligands for nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors type-? (PPAR-?), palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and oleoylethanolamide (OEA), in a Ca2+-dependent manner. Here, we investigated potential crosstalk between ?7 nAChR and PPAR-?, using the formalin test, a mouse model of tonic pain. Using pharmacological and genetic approaches, we found that PNU282987, a full ?7 agonist, attenuated formalin-induced nociceptive behavior in ?7-dependent manner. Interestingly, the selective PPAR-? antagonist GW6471 blocked the antinociceptive effects of PNU282987, but did not alter the antinociceptive responses evoked by the ?7 nAChR PAM PNU120596, ago-PAM GAT107, and silent agonist NS6740. Moreover, GW6471 administered systemically or spinally, but not via the intraplantar surface of the formalin-injected paw blocked PNU282987-induced antinociception. Conversely, exogenous administration of the naturally occurring PPAR-? agonist PEA potentiated the antinociceptive effects of PNU282987. In contrast, the cannabinoid CB1 antagonist rimonabant and the CB2 antagonist SR144528 failed to reverse the antinociceptive effects of PNU282987. These findings suggest that PPAR-? plays a key role in a putative antinociceptive ?7 nicotinic signaling pathway.