Adamantyl cannabinoids: A novel class of cannabinergic ligands

Dai Lu, Zhaoxing Meng, Ganesh A. Thakur, Pusheng Fan, John Steed, Cindy L. Tartal, Dow P. Hurst, Patricia H. Reggio, Jeffrey R. Deschamps, Damon A. Parrish, Clifford George, Torbjörn U.C. Järbe, Richard J. Lamb, Alexandras Makriyannis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Structure-activity relationship studies have established that the aliphatic side chain plays a pivotal role in determining the cannabinergic potency of tricyclic classical cannabinoids. We have now synthesized a series of analogues in which a variety of adamantyl substituents were introduced at the C3 position of Δ8-THC. Our lead compound, (-)-3-(1-adamantyl)- Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol (1a, AM411), was found to have robust affinity and selectivity for the CB1 receptor as well as high in vivo potency. The X-ray crystal structure of 1a was determined. Exploration of the side chain conformational space using molecular modeling approaches has allowed us to develop cannabinoid side chain pharmacophore models for the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Our results suggest that although a bulky group at the C3 position of classical cannabinoids could be tolerated by both CB1 and CB2 binding sites, the relative orientation of that group with respect to the tricyclic component can lead to receptor subtype selectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4576-4585
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 14 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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