Three heterocyclic systems were selected as potential bioisosteres of the amide linker for a series of 1,6-disubstituted-4-quinolone-3-carboxamides, which are potent and selective CB2 ligands that exhibit poor water solubility, with the aim of improving their physicochemical profile and also of clarifying properties of importance for amide bond mimicry. Among the newly synthesized compounds, a 1,2,3-triazole derivative (1-(adamantan-1-yl)-4-[6-(furan-2-yl)-1,4-dihydro-4-oxo-1-pentylquinolin-3-yl]-1H-1,2,3-triazole) emerged as the most promising in terms of both physicochemical and pharmacodynamic properties. When assayed in vitro, this derivative exhibited inverse agonist activity, whereas, in the formalin test in mice, it produced analgesic effects antagonized by a well-established inverse agonist. Metabolic studies allowed the identification of a side chain hydroxylated derivative as its only metabolite, which, in its racemic form, still showed appreciable CB2 selectivity, but was 150-fold less potent than the parent compound.
- structure-activity relationship