A series of novel isochromanone based urotensin II receptor agonists have been synthesized and evaluated for their activity using a functional cell based assay (R-SAT). Several potent and efficacious derivatives were identified, with 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-6,7-dimethyl-3-(2-dimethylaminoethyl)isochroman-1-one being the most potent compound showing an EC₅₀-value of 51 nM, thereby being the most potent compound so far within the isochromanone series. In addition, two other heterocyclic systems (isochromanes and tetrahydroisoquinolinones) were investigated and these derivatives were found to be both potent and efficacious. The activity of the isochromane derivatives implies that the carbonyl group of the isochromanone is not necessary for activity. Furthermore it was found that the geometry of the heterocycles was more important for receptor interaction than the composition of the heteroatoms present.
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