Novel Diarylurea Based Allosteric Modulators of the Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor: Evaluation of Importance of 6-Pyrrolidinylpyridinyl Substitution
Allosteric modulators of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor have recently been reported as an alternative approach to modulate the CB1 receptor for therapeutic benefits. In this study, we report the design and synthesis of a series of diarylureas derived from PSNCBAM-1 (2). Similar to 2, these diarylureas dose-dependently inhibited CP55,940-induced intracellular calcium mobilization and [35S]GTP-γ-S binding while enhancing [3H]CP55,940 binding to the CB1 receptor. Structure-activity relationship studies revealed that the pyridinyl ring of 2 could be replaced by other aromatic rings and the pyrrolidinyl ring is not required for CB1 allosteric modulation. 34 (RTICBM-74) had similar potencies as 2 in all in vitro assays but showed significantly improved metabolic stability to rat liver microsomes. More importantly, 34 was more effective than 2 in attenuating the reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-seeking behavior in rats, demonstrating the potential of this diarylurea series as promising candidates for the development of relapse treatment of cocaine addiction.