Toward the development of bivalent ligand probes of cannabinoid CB1 and orexin OX1 receptor heterodimers
Cannabinoid CB1 and orexin OX1 receptors have been suggested to form heterodimers and oligomers. Aimed at studying these complexes, a series of bivalent CB1 and OX1 ligands combining SR141716 and ACT-078573 pharmacophores were designed, synthesized, and tested for activity against CB1 and OX1 individually and in cell lines that coexpress both receptors. Compound 20 showed a robust enhancement in potency at both receptors when coexpressed as compared to individually expressed, suggesting possible interaction with CB1-OX1 dimers. Bivalent ligands targeting CB1-OX1 receptor dimers could be potentially useful as a tool for further exploring the roles of such heterodimers in vitro and in vivo.