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The design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of a novel series of 3-[2-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)ethyl]indoles with excellent selectivity for h5-HT1D (formerly 5-HT1Dalpha) receptors over h5-HT1B (formerly 5-HT1Dbeta) receptors are described. Clinically effective antimigraine drugs such as Sumatriptan show little selectivity between h5-HT1D and h5-HT1B receptors. The differential expression of h5-HT1D and h5-HT1B receptors in neural and vascular tissue prompted an investigation of whether a compound selective for the h5-HT1D subtype would have the same clinical efficacy but with reduced side effects. The pyrrolidine 3b was initially identified as having 9-fold selectivity for h5-HT1D over h5-HT1B receptors. Substitution of the pyrrolidine ring of 3b with methylbenzylamine groups gave compounds with nanomolar affinity for the h5-HT1D receptor and 100-fold selectivity with respect to h5-HT1B receptors. Modification of the indole 5-substituent led to the oxazolidinones 24a,b with up to 163-fold selectivity for the h5-HT1D subtype and improved selectivity over other serotonin receptors. The compounds were shown to be full agonists by measurement of agonist-induced [35S]GTPgammaS binding in CHO cells expressed with h5-HT receptors. This study suggests that the h5-HT1D and h5-HT1B receptors can be differentiated by appropriate substitution of the ligand in the region which binds to the aspartate residue and reveals a large binding pocket in the h5-HT1D receptor domain which is absent for the h5-HT1B receptor. The compounds described herein will be important tools to delineate the role of h5-HT1D receptors in migraine.


F Sternfeld, A R Guiblin, R A Jelley, V G Matassa, A J Reeve, P A Hunt, M S Beer, A Heald, J A Stanton, B Sohal, A P Watt, L J Street. Synthesis and serotonergic activity of 3-[2-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)ethyl]indoles: potent agonists for the h5-HT1D receptor with high selectivity over the h5-HT1B receptor. Journal of medicinal chemistry. 1999 Feb 25;42(4):677-90

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PMID: 10052975

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