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 similar to 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 hCB(1)-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 hCB(1)-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 similar to 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 hCB(2)-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.
- inverse agonist
- partial agonist
- acid amide hydrolase
- CB2 receptor