Limitations in efficacy and high relapse rates of currently available smoking cessation agents reveal the need for more efficacious pharmacotherapies. One strategy is to develop subtype-selective nicotinic receptor (nAChR) antagonists that inhibit nicotine-evoked dopamine (DA) release, the primary neurotransmitter involved in nicotine reward. Simple alkylation of the pyridino N-atom converts nicotine from a potent agonist into a potent antagonist. The classical antagonists, hexamethonium and decamethonium, differentiate between peripheral nAChR subtypes. Using a similar approach, we interconnected varying quaternary ammonium moieties with a lipophilic linker to provide N,N′-bis-nicotinium analogs, affording a lead compound, N,N′-dodecyl-1,12-diyl-bis-3-picolinium dibromide (bPiDDB), which inhibited nicotine-evoked DA release and decreased nicotine self-administration. The current work describes a novel compound, 1-(3-picolinium)-12-triethylammonium-dodecane dibromide (TMPD), a hybrid of bPiDDB and decamethonium. TMPD completely inhibited (IC50 = 500 nM) nicotine-evoked DA release from superfused rat striatal slices, suggesting that TMPD acts as a nAChR antagonist at more than one subtype. TMPD (1 μM) inhibited the response to acetylcholine at α3β4, α4β4, α4β2, and α1β1εδ receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. TMPD had a 2-fold higher affinity than choline for the blood-brain barrier choline transporter, suggesting brain bioavailability. TMPD did not inhibit hyperactivity in nicotine sensitized rats, but significantly and specifically decreased nicotine self-administration. Together, the results suggest that TMPD may have the ability to reduce the rewarding effect of nicotine with minimal side effects, a pharmacological profile indicative of potential clinical utility for the treatment of tobacco dependence.
- Blood-brain barrier choline transporter
- Nicotinic receptors
- Smoking cessation
ASJC Scopus subject areas