Functional characterization and analgesic effects of mixed cannabinoid receptor/T-type channel ligands

Haitao You, Vinicius M. Gadotti, Ravil R. Petrov, Gerald W. Zamponi, Philippe Diaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Both T-type calcium channels and cannabinoid receptors modulate signalling in the primary afferent pain pathway. Here, we investigate the analgesics activities of a series of novel cannabinoid receptor ligands with T-type calcium channel blocking activity.Results: Novel compounds were characterized in radioligand binding assays and in vitro functional assays at human and rat CB1 and CB2 receptors. The inhibitory effects of these compounds on transient expressed human T-type calcium channels were examined in tsA-201 cells using standard whole-cell voltage clamp techniques, and their analgesic effects in response to various administration routes (intrathecally, intraplantarly, intraperitoneally) assessed in the formalin model. A series of compounds were synthesized and evaluated for channel and receptor activity. Compound NMP-7 acted as non-selective CB1/CB2 agonist while NMP4 was found to be a CB1 partial agonist and CB2 inverse agonist. Furthermore, NMP-144 behaved as a selective CB2 inverse agonist. All of these three compounds completely inhibited peak Cav3.2 currents with IC 50 values in the low micromolar range. All compounds mediated analgesic effects in the formalin model, but depending on the route of administration, could differentially affect phase 1 and phase 2 of the formalin response.Conclusions: Our results reveal that a set of novel cannabinioid receptor ligands potently inhibit T-type calcium channels and show analgesic effects in vivo. Our findings suggest possible novel means of mediating pain relief through mixed T-type/cannabinoid receptor ligands.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
JournalMolecular Pain
StatePublished - Nov 17 2011


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