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The aims of the current studies were to determine the in vitro and in vivo ocular and non-ocular pharmacological properties of cabergoline using well documented receptor binding, cell-based functional assays, and in vivo models. Cabergoline bound to native and/or human cloned serotonin-2A/B/C (5HT(2A/B/C)), 5HT(1A), 5HT(7), alpha(2B), and dopamine-2/3 (D(2/3)) receptor subtypes with nanomolar affinity. Cabergoline was an agonist at human recombinant 5HT(2), 5HT(1A) and D(2/3) receptors but an antagonist at 5HT(7) and alpha(2) receptors. In primary human ciliary muscle (h-CM) and trabecular meshwork (h-TM) cells, cabergoline stimulated phosphoinositide (PI) hydrolysis (EC(50)=19+/-7 nM in TM; 76 nM in h-CM) and intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) mobilization (EC(50)=570+/-83 nM in h-TM; EC(50)=900+/-320 nM in h-CM). Cabergoline-induced [Ca(2+)](i) mobilization in h-TM and h-CM cells was potently antagonized by a 5HT(2A)-selective antagonist (M-100907, K(i)=0.29-0.53 nM). Cabergoline also stimulated [Ca(2+)](i) mobilization more potently via human cloned 5HT(2A) (EC(50)=63.4+/-10.3 nM) than via 5HT(2B) and 5HT(2C) receptors. In h-CM cells, cabergoline (1 microM) stimulated production of pro-matrix metalloproteinases-1 and -3 and synergized with forskolin to enhance cAMP production. Cabergoline (1 microM) perfused through anterior segments of porcine eyes caused a significant (27%) increase in outflow facility. Topically administered cabergoline (300-500 microg) in Dutch-belted rabbit eyes yielded 4.5 microMM and 1.97 microM levels in the aqueous humor 30 min and 90 min post-dose but failed to modulate intraocular pressure (IOP). However, cabergoline was an efficacious IOP-lowering agent in normotensive Brown Norway rats (25% IOP decrease with 6 microg at 4h post-dose) and in conscious ocular hypertensive cynomolgus monkeys (peak reduction of 30.6+/-3.6% with 50 microg at 3h post-dose; 30.4+/-4.5% with 500 microg at 7h post-dose). In ketamine-sedated monkeys, IOP was significantly lowered at 2.5h after the second topical ocular dose (300 microg) of cabergoline by 23% (p<0.02) and 35% (p<0.004) in normotensive and ocular hypertensive eyes, respectively. In normotensive eyes, cabergoline increased uveoscleral outflow (0.69+/-0.7 microL/min-1.61+/-0.97 microL/min, n=13; p<0.01). However, only seven of the eleven ocular hypertensive monkeys showed significantly increased uveoscleral outflow. These data indicate that cabergoline's most prominent agonist activity involves activation of 5HT(2), 5HT(1A), and D(2/3) receptors. Since 5HT(1A) agonists, 5HT(7) antagonists, and alpha(2) antagonists do not lower IOP in conscious ocular hypertensive monkeys, the 5HT(2) and dopaminergic agonist activities of cabergoline probably mediated the IOP reduction observed with this compound in this species.


Najam A Sharif, Marsha A McLaughlin, Curtis R Kelly, Parvaneh Katoli, Colene Drace, Shahid Husain, Craig Crosson, Carol Toris, Gui-Lin Zhan, Carl Camras. Cabergoline: Pharmacology, ocular hypotensive studies in multiple species, and aqueous humor dynamic modulation in the Cynomolgus monkey eyes. Experimental eye research. 2009 Mar;88(3):386-97

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PMID: 18992242

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