The synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of adamantane-derived indoles: Cannabimimetic drugs of abuse

Samuel D. Banister, Shane M. Wilkinson, Mitchell Longworth, Jordyn Stuart, Nadine Apetz, Katrina English, Lance Brooker, Catrin Goebel, David E. Hibbs, Michelle Glass, Mark Connor, Iain S. McGregor, Michael Kassiou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Two novel adamantane derivatives, adamantan-1-yl(1-pentyl-1H-indol-3-yl) methanone (AB-001) and N-(adamtan-1-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indole-3-carboxamide (SDB-001), were recently identified as cannabimimetic indoles of abuse. Conflicting anecdotal reports of the psychoactivity of AB-001 in humans, and a complete dearth of information about the bioactivity of SDB-001, prompted the preparation of AB-001, SDB-001, and several analogues intended to explore preliminary structure-activity relationships within this class. This study sought to elucidate which structural features of AB-001, SDB-001, and their analogues govern the cannabimimetic potency of these chemotypes in vitro and in vivo. All compounds showed similar full agonist profiles at CB1 (EC50 = 16-43 nM) and CB2 (EC50 = 29-216 nM) receptors in vitro using a FLIPR membrane potential assay, with the exception of SDB-002, which demonstrated partial agonist activity at CB2 receptors. The activity of AB-001, AB-002, and SDB-001 in rats was compared to that of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabimimetic indole JWH-018 using biotelemetry. SDB-001 dose-dependently induced hypothermia and reduced heart rate (maximal dose 10 mg/kg) with potency comparable to that of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC, maximal dose 10 mg/kg), and lower than that of JWH-018 (maximal dose 3 mg/kg). Additionally, the changes in body temperature and heart rate affected by SDB-001 are of longer duration than those of Δ9-THC or JWH-018, suggesting a different pharmacokinetic profile. In contrast, AB-001, and its homologue, AB-002, did not produce significant hypothermic and bradycardic effects, even at relatively higher doses (up to 30 mg/kg), indicating greatly reduced potency compared to Δ9-THC, JWH-018, and SDB-001.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1092
Number of pages12
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2013


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