Synthesis and cholinergic properties of N-aryl-2-[[[5-[(dimethylamino)methyl]-2-furanyl]methyl]thio]ethylamino analogs of ranitidine

J Med Chem. 1992 Aug 21;35(17):3141-7. doi: 10.1021/jm00095a008.


A series of N-aryl-2-[[[5-[(dimethylamino)methyl]-2- furanyl]methyl]thio]ethylamino analogs of the H2-antagonist, ranitidine, was synthesized and the abilities of the compounds to alleviate the cholinergic deficit characteristic of Alzheimer's disease evaluated. The compounds were initially tested for their ability to inhibit human erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase activity in vitro. Selected compounds were further evaluated for butyrylcholinesterase inhibition, M1 and M2 cholinergic receptor binding, potentiation of ileal contractions, and the ability to elevate brain acetylcholine levels in mice. The analogs were compared to tetrahydroaminoacridine and to a recently reported series of bis-[[(dimethylamino)methyl]furans]. The N-aryl-2-[[[5-[(dimethylamino)methyl]-2- furanyl]methyl]thio]ethylamine derivatives were generally comparable to tetrahydroaminoacridine and the bis[[(dimethylamino)methyl]furans] in acetylcholinesterase inhibition, M1/M2 receptor binding, and the potentiation of ileal contractions, while being more potent inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase than butyrylcholinesterase. The 4-nitro-3-pyridazinyl analog, 26, was notable in demonstrating a potent and selective binding to the M2 receptor, with an M2 IC50/M1 IC50 of 0.060. Compounds in which the substituents on the dinitro-N-aryl moiety were relatively small were the best at inhibiting acetylcholinesterase in vitro. The N-aryl-2-[[[5-[(dimethylamino)methyl]-2- furanyl]methyl]thio]ethylamines in general, and those with small N-aryl substituents in particular, were superior to the bis[[(dimethylamino)methyl]furans] in elevating brain ACh levels in mice, probably due to enhanced distribution into the CNS. The 1,5-difluoro-2,4-dinitrophenyl analog, 8, resulted in the largest elevation in brain acetylcholine levels, affording a 53% increase at 88 mg/kg.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism
  • Acetylcholine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Butyrylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / chemical synthesis
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Ileum / drug effects
  • Ileum / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects
  • Ranitidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / metabolism


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Muscarinic
  • Ranitidine
  • Butyrylcholinesterase
  • Acetylcholine