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Novel high-affinity and selective biaromatic 4-substituted gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) analogues

Novel high-affinity and selective biaromatic 4-substituted gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) analogues

  1. Gradient
    γ-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a metabolite of γ-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 GABAB 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 GABAA and GABAB 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.