Effects of Bioisosteric Fluorine in Synthetic Cannabinoid Designer Drugs JWH-018, AM-2201, UR-144, XLR-11, PB-22, 5F-PB-22, APICA, and STS-135

Samuel D. Banister, Jordyn Stuart, Richard C. Kevin, Amelia Edington, Mitchell Longworth, Shane M. Wilkinson, Corinne Beinat, Alexandra S. Buchanan, David E. Hibbs, Michelle Glass, Mark Connor, Iain S. McGregor, Michael Kassiou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Synthetic cannabinoid (SC) designer drugs featuring bioisosteric fluorine substitution are identified by forensic chemists and toxicologists with increasing frequency. Although terminal fluorination of N-pentyl indole SCs is sometimes known to improve cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor binding affinity, little is known of the effects of fluorination on functional activity of SCs. This study explores the in vitro functional activities of SC designer drugs JWH-018, UR-144, PB-22, and APICA, and their respective terminally fluorinated analogues AM-2201, XLR-11, 5F-PB-22, and STS-135 at human CB1 and CB2 receptors using a FLIPR membrane potential assay. All compounds demonstrated agonist activity at CB1 (EC50 = 2.8-1959 nM) and CB2 (EC50 = 6.5-206 nM) receptors, with the fluorinated analogues generally showing increased CB1 receptor potency (∼2-5 times). Additionally, the cannabimimetic activities and relative potencies of JWH-018, AM-2201, UR-144, XLR-11, PB-22, 5F-PB-22, APICA, and STS-135 in vivo were evaluated in rats using biotelemetry. All SCs dose-dependently induced hypothermia and reduced heart rate at doses of 0.3-10 mg/kg. There was no consistent trend for increased potency of fluorinated SCs over the corresponding des-fluoro SCs in vivo. Based on magnitude and duration of hypothermia, the SCs were ranked for potency (PB-22 > 5F-PB-22 = JWH-018 > AM-2201 > APICA = STS-135 = XLR-11 > UR-144).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1445-1458
Number of pages14
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Volume6
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2015

Keywords

  • AM-2201
  • Cannabinoid
  • JWH-018
  • PB-22
  • THC
  • XLR-11

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