Fluorescent probes for dopamine receptors: synthesis and characterization of fluorescein and 7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl conjugates of D-1 and D-2 receptor ligands

J Med Chem. 1991 Nov;34(11):3235-41. doi: 10.1021/jm00115a012.


Fluorescent probes have been designed and developed for dopamine D-1 and D-2 receptors. Fluorescein and/or NBD (7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl) derivatives of PPHT (D-2 agonist), spiperone (D-2 antagonist), SKF 38393 (D-1 agonist), and SKF 83566 (D-1 antagonist) were synthesized via their amino-functionalized analogues and all ligands were pharmacologically evaluated by measuring their ability to displace [3H]SCH 23390 and [3H]spiperone from D-1 and D-2 receptor sites in caudate putamen of monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). The fluorescein derivatives of PPHT and SKF 83566 and the NBD derivatives of spiperone and SKF 83566 retained the high affinity and selectivity of the parent ligands. The NBD derivatives of PPHT showed higher D-2 receptor affinity and selectivity than their parent ligands. The enantiomers of the fluorescent derivatives of PPHT were also synthesized and were found to exhibit stereoselectivity in binding to the D-2 receptor, with the S enantiomers having a considerably higher affinity than their R analogues. In contrast to these results, the fluorescein derivative of SKF 38393 showed only a low affinity for the D-1 receptor. These fluorescein- and NBD-coupled D-1 and D-2 receptor ligands have considerable significance as potential probes in the study of distribution of the receptors at the cellular/subcellular level and of their mobility in membranes in normal/diseased states by use of fluorescence microscopic and fluorescence photobleaching recovery techniques, respectively. The development of these novel fluorescent probes should also provide new leads for the design and synthesis of additional fluorescent ligands with better fluorescent properties and/or higher affinity/selectivity for the DA receptors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 2,3,4,5-Tetrahydro-7,8-dihydroxy-1-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemical synthesis*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Dyes / pharmacology
  • Ligands
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Oxadiazoles / chemical synthesis*
  • Oxadiazoles / metabolism
  • Oxadiazoles / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Dopamine / drug effects*
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Ligands
  • Oxadiazoles
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • 2,3,4,5-Tetrahydro-7,8-dihydroxy-1-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine