α-PVP (α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone) and MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone) are potent abused stimulants that are members of the synthetic cathinone class of drugs. Although these drugs are taken with recreational intent, high doses can lead to unintended adverse effects including agitation, cardiovascular effects, sympathomimetic syndromes, hallucinations, and psychoses. One possible treatment is the use of a vaccine to block or attenuate adverse medical effects. These studies report the preparation of a vaccine that generates high affinity antibodies specific for both drugs and the pharmacological testing of this vaccine in male rats. Alkylation of a hydroxy-α-PVP analog with an appropriate thiol-bearing linker afforded the hapten. When hapten-conjugated carrier protein was mixed with adjuvant, the resulting vaccine stimulated production of antibodies in male Sprague Dawley rats that were found to significantly reduce α-PVP- and MDPV-induced hyperlocomotion as well as to significantly reduce the concentrations of MDPV drugs in critical organs. The novel vaccine produced high affinity antibodies against MDPV, (R)-MDPV, (S)-MDPV, and α-PVP. Cross-reactivity testing against nine structurally similar cathinones showed very limited binding, and no binding to off-target endogenous and exogenous compounds. Antibodies generated by this bi-specific vaccine also significantly shortened the duration of locomotor activity induced by both drugs up to a dose of 5.6 mg/kg in male rats.
Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of a bi-specific vaccine against α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP) and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) in rats
McClenahan, S. J., Kormos, C. M., Gunnell, M., Hambuchen, M. D., Lamb, P., Carroll, F. I., ... Owens, S. M. (2020). Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of a bi-specific vaccine against α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP) and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) in rats. Vaccine, 38(2), 336-344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.10.008