N-n-alkylnicotinium analogs, a novel class of nicotinic receptor antagonists: Interaction with α4β2* and α7* Neuronal nicotinic receptors

Lincoln H. Wilkins, Vladimir P. Grinevich, Joshua T. Ayers, Peter A. Crooks, Linda P. Dwoskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The current study demonstrates that N-n-alkylnicotinium analogs with increasing n-alkyl chain lengths from 1 to 12 carbons have varying affinity (Ki = 90 nM-20 μM) for S-(-)-[3H]nicotine binding sites in rat striatal membranes. A linear relationship was observed such that increasing n-alkyl chain length provided increased affinity for the α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype, with the exception of N-n-octylnicotinium iodide (NONI). The most potent analog was N-n-decylnicotinium iodide (NDNI; Ki = 90 nM). In contrast, none of the analogs in this series exhibited high affinity for the [3H]methyllycaconitine binding site, thus indicating low affinity for the α7* nAChR. The C8 analog, NONI, had low affinity for S-(-)-[3H]nicotine binding sites but was a potent inhibitor of S-(-)-nicotine-evoked [3H]dopamine (DA) overflow from superfused striatal slices (IC50 = 0.62 μM), thereby demonstrating selectivity for the nAChR subtype mediating S-(-)-nicotine-evoked [3H]DA overflow (α3α6β2* nAChRs). Importantly, the N-n-alkylnicotinium analog with highest affinity for the α4β2* subtype, NDNI, lacked the ability to inhibit S-(-)-nicotine-evoked [3H]DA overflow and, thus, appears to be selective for α4β2* nAChRs. Furthermore, the present study demonstrates that the interaction of these analogs with the α4β2* subtype is via a competitive mechanism. Thus, selectivity for the α4β2* subtype combined with competitive interaction with the S-(-)-nicotine binding site indicates that NDNI is an excellent candidate for studying the structural topography of α4β2* agonist recognition binding sites, for identifying the antagonist pharmacophore on the α4β2* nAChR, and for defining the role of this subtype in physiological function and pathological disease states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-410
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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