The tamoxifen derivative ridaifen-B is a high affinity selective CB2 receptor inverse agonist exhibiting anti-inflammatory and anti-osteoclastogenic effects

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2018 Aug 15;353:31-42. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2018.06.009. Epub 2018 Jun 12.


Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) target estrogen receptors (ERs) to treat breast cancer and osteoporosis. Several SERMs exhibit anti-cancer activity not related to ERs. To discover novel anti-cancer drugs acting via ER-independent mechanisms, derivatives of the SERM tamoxifen, known as the "ridaifen" compounds, have been developed that exhibit reduced or no ER affinity, while maintaining cytotoxicity. Tamoxifen and other SERMs bind to cannabinoid receptors with moderate affinity. Therefore, ER-independent effects of SERMs might be mediated via cannabinoid receptors. This study determined whether RID-B, a first generation ridaifen compound, exhibits affinity and/or activity at CB1 and/or CB2 cannabinoid receptors. RID-B binds with high affinity (Ki = 43.7 nM) and 17-fold selectivity to CB2 over CB1 receptors. RID-B acts as an inverse agonist at CB2 receptors, modulating G-protein and adenylyl cyclase activity with potency values predicted by CB2 affinity. Characteristic of an antagonist, RID-B co-incubation produces a parallel-rightward shift in the concentration-effect curve of CB2 agonist WIN-55,212-2 to inhibit adenylyl cyclase activity. CB2 inverse agonists are reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-ostoeclastogenic effects. In LPS-activated macrophages, RID-B exhibits anti-inflammatory effects by reducing levels of nitric oxide (NO), IL-6 and IL-1α, but not TNFα. Only reduction of NO concentration by RID-B is mediated by cannabinoid receptors. RID-B also exhibits pronounced anti-osteoclastogenic effects, reducing the number of osteoclasts differentiating from primary bone marrow macrophages in a cannabinoid receptor-dependent manner. In summary, the tamoxifen derivative RID-B, developed with reduced affinity for ERs, is a high affinity selective CB2 inverse agonist with anti-inflammatory and anti-osteoclastogenic properties.

Keywords: Antagonist; Cannabinoid receptors; Drug action; G-protein coupled receptors; Inverse agonist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Benzoxazines / pharmacology
  • Binding, Competitive / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects
  • CHO Cells
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Drug Inverse Agonism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Morpholines / pharmacology
  • Naphthalenes / pharmacology
  • Osteoclasts / drug effects*
  • Pyrrolidines / metabolism
  • Pyrrolidines / pharmacology*
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / drug effects
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / metabolism
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2 / agonists*
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2 / metabolism
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators / metabolism
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators / pharmacology*
  • Tamoxifen / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tamoxifen / metabolism
  • Tamoxifen / pharmacology


  • Adenylyl Cyclase Inhibitors
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Benzoxazines
  • Morpholines
  • Naphthalenes
  • Pyrrolidines
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
  • ridaifen-B
  • Tamoxifen
  • (3R)-((2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-((4-morpholinyl)methyl)pyrrolo-(1,2,3-de)-1,4-benzoxazin-6-yl)(1-naphthalenyl))methanone