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N-Methylacetamide Analog of Salvinorin A: A Highly Potent and Selective kappa-Opioid Receptor Agonist with Oral Efficacy.

journal contribution
posted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by C Béguin, D N Potter, J A Dinieri, Thomas MunroThomas Munro, M R Richards, T A Paine, L Berry, Z Zhao, B L Roth, W Xu, L-Y Liu-Chen, W A Carlezon, B M Cohen
Several preclinical studies indicate that selective kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) antagonists have antidepressant-like effects, whereas KOR agonists have opposite effects, suggesting that each might be useful in the treatment of mood abnormalities. Salvinorin A (salvA) is a valuable KOR agonist for further study due to its high potency and receptor selectivity. However, it has short lasting effects in vivo and limited oral bioavailability, probably due to acetate metabolism. We compared the in vitro receptor binding selectivity of salvA and four analogs containing an ethyl ether (EE), isopropylamine (IPA), N-methylacetamide (NMA), or N-methylpropionamide (NMP) at C-2. All compounds showed high binding affinity for the KOR (K(i) = 0.11-6.3 nM), although only salvA, EE, and NMA exhibited KOR selectivity. In a liver microsomal assay, salvA was least stable, whereas NMA and IPA displayed slower metabolic transformations. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of salvA, NMA, and NMP dose-dependently elevated brain reward thresholds in the intracranial self-administration (ICSS) test, consistent with prodepressive-like KOR agonist effects. NMA and NMP were equipotent to salvA but displayed longer lasting effects (6- and 10-fold, respectively). A dose of salvA with prominent effects in the ICSS test after i.p. administration (2.0 mg/kg) was inactive after oral administration, whereas the same oral dose of NMA elevated ICSS thresholds. These studies suggest that, although salvA and NMA are similar in potency and selectivity as KOR agonists in vitro, NMA has improved stability and longer lasting actions that might make it more useful for studies of KOR agonist effects in animals and humans.



The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics






188 - 195


American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics


United States







Publication classification

CN.1 Other journal article