Morphine and its derivatives play inevitably important role in the μ-opioid receptor (MOR) targeted antinociception. A structure-activity relationship study is presented for novel and known orvinol and thevinol derivatives with varying 3-O, 6-O, 17-N and 20-alkyl substitutions starting from agonists, antagonists and partial agonists. In vitro competition binding experiments with [H]DAMGO showed low subnanomolar affinity to MOR. Generally, 6-O-demethylation increased the affinity toward MOR and decreased the efficacy changing the pharmacological profile in some cases. In vivo tests in osteoarthritis inflammation model showed significant antiallodynic effects of thevinol derivatives while orvinol derivatives did not. The pharmacological character was modelled by computational docking to both active and inactive state models of MOR. Docking energy difference for the two states separates agonists and antagonists well while partial agonists overlapped with them. An interaction pattern of the ligands, involving the interacting receptor atoms, showed more efficient separation of the pharmacological profiles. In rats, thevinol derivatives showed antiallodynic effect in vivo. The orvinol derivatives, except for 6-O-desmethyl-dihydroetorfin (2c), did not show antiallodynic effect.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.