In vitro and in vivo pharmacology of synthetic olivetol- or resorcinol-derived cannabinoid receptor ligands

M G Cascio, T Bisogno, E Palazzo, A Thomas, M van der Stelt, A Brizzi, V de Novellis, I Marabese, R Ross, T van de Doelen, V Brizzi, R Pertwee, S Maione, V Di Marzo
British Journal of Pharmacology 2006, 149 (4): 431-40

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We have previously reported the development of CB-25 and CB-52, two ligands of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. We assessed here their functional activity.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: The effect of the two compounds on forskolin-induced cAMP formation in intact cells or GTP-gamma-S binding to cell membranes, and their action on nociception in vivo was determined.

KEY RESULTS: CB-25 enhanced forskolin-induced cAMP formation in N18TG2 cells (EC50 approximately 20 nM, max. stimulation = 48%), behaving as an inverse CB1 agonist, but it stimulated GTP-gamma-S binding to mouse brain membranes, behaving as a partial CB1 agonist (EC50 =100 nM, max. stimulation = 48%). At human CB1 receptors, CB-25 inhibited cAMP formation in hCB1-CHO cells (EC50 = 1600 nM, max. inhibition = 68% of CP-55,940 effect). CB-52 inhibited forskolin-induced cAMP formation by N18TG2 cells (IC50 = 450 nM, max. inhibition = 40%) and hCB1-CHO cells (EC50 = 2600 nM, max. inhibition = 62% of CP-55,940 effect), and stimulated GTP-gamma-S binding to mouse brain membranes (EC50 = 11 nM, max. stimulation approximately 16%). Both CB-25 and CB-52 showed no activity in all assays of CB2-coupled functional activity and antagonized CP55940-induced stimulation of GTP-gamma-S binding to hCB2-CHO cell membranes. In vivo, both compounds, administered i.p., produced dose-dependent nociception in the plantar test carried out in healthy rats, and antagonised the anti-nociceptive effect of i.p. WIN55,212-2. In the formalin test in mice, however, the compounds counteracted both phases of formalin-induced nociception.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: CB-25 and CB-52 behave in vitro mostly as CB1 partial agonists and CB2 neutral antagonists, whereas their activity in vivo might depend on the tonic activity of cannabinoid receptors.

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