(±)-cis-2-methylspiro(1,3-oxathiolane-5,3')quinuclidine, an M1 selective cholinergic agonist, attenuates cognitive dysfunctions in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease

A. Fisher, R. Brandeis, I. Karton, Z. Pittel, D. Gurwitz, R. Haring, M. Sapir, A. Levy, E. Heldman

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74 Scopus citations


AF102B [(±)-cis-2-methyl-spiro(1,3-oxathiolane-5,3')quinuclidine], a structurally rigid analog of acetylcholine, was investigated in a number of neurochemical, pharmacological and behavioral tests related to cholinergic functions. AF102B induced atropine-sensitive contractions of isolated guinea pig ilea and trachea preparations with EC50 values of 3.5 and 3 μM being 87- and 1.3-fold less potent than acetylcholine, respectively. Binding studies using the radioligands pirenzepine, cis-dioxolane and quinuclidinyl benzilate in rat cerebral cortex and quinuclidinyl benzilate in cerebellar homogenates indicated that AF102B was a potent and highly selective M1-type muscarinic probe, being more selective for M1 receptors than oxotremorine, carbachol and AF102A (the trans-isomer of AF102B). AF102B had a 3-fold higher apparent affinity for M1 receptors than the prototype M1 agonist, McN-A-343, cis- and trans-AF30 (other rigid analogs of acetylcholine). Treatment of rat cortical homogenates with Cu++ ions did not modify the affinity observed for the muscarinic antagonists atropine, scopolamine and pirenzepine, whereas increasing the proportion of high affinity sites for the agonists oxotremorine-M, carbachol and McN-A-343. The apparent affinity of AF102B also increased by Cu++ treatment suggesting that this compound interacts with rat cerebral cortex muscarinic receptors as an agonist. AF102B did not affect high affinity choline transport, choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholinesterase activities in rat brain preparations. In rats treated with AF64A (the cholinotoxin ethylcholine aziridinium ion; 3 nmol/2 μl/side i.c.v.), AF102B (1 mg/kg p.o. or i.p.), AF102A (1mg/kg i.p.), cis-AF30 (1 mg/kg i.p.) and physostigmine (0.06 mg/kg i.p.), each reversed cognitive impairments in a step-through passive avoidance task. Both AF102B and AF102A (1 mg/kg i.p.), but not physostigmine (0.1 mg/kg i.p.), were effective also in reversing reference memory impairments in a Morris water maze test. Repotitive administrations of AF102B (0.2 mg/kg/day i.p.) improved AF64A-induced working memory deficits in the Morris water maze test, but did not affect open field behavior. The data show that the selective M1 agonist AF102B can restore AF64A-induced cognitive impairments, without producing adverse central and peripheral side effects at the effective doses and this can indicate its potential use for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-403
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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