Broad analgesic activity of a novel, selective M1 agonist

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Although the muscarinic receptor family has long been a source of potentially compelling targets for small molecule drug discovery, it was difficult to achieve agonist selectivity within the family. A new class of M1 muscarinic agonists has emerged, and these compounds have been characterized as agonists that activate the receptor at an allosteric site. Members of this class of M1 agonists have been shown to be selective across the muscarinic receptors. However, upon introduction of a novel pharmacologic mechanism, it is prudent to ensure that no new off-target activities have arisen, particularly within the context of in vivo experiments. Reported here, is the in vitro and in vivo characterization of a novel M1 agonist tool compound, PPBI, and demonstrations that the primary biological effects of PPBI are mediated through M1. PPBI reverses D-amphetamine locomotor activity, but fails to do so in transgenic mice that do not express M1. PPBI also reverses a natural deficit in a rat cognition model at a level of exposure which also activates cortical circuitry. Most notably, PPBI is analgesic in a variety of rat and mouse models and the analgesic effect of PPBI is reversed by an M1-preferring antagonist and an M1-selective toxin. Finally, the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic measures of PPBI are compared across multiple endpoints which highlights that activity in models of psychosis and pain require higher exposures than that required in the cognition model.

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