Development of novel, potent, and selective dopamine reuptake inhibitors through alteration of the piperazine ring of 1-[2-(diphenylmethoxy)ethyl]-and 1-[2-[bis(4-fluorophenyl)methoxy]ethyl]-4-(3-phenylpropyl)piperazines (GBR 12935 and GBR 12909)

J Med Chem. 1996 Nov 22;39(24):4704-16. doi: 10.1021/jm960305h.


The design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of compounds related to the dopamine (DA) uptake inhibitors: 1-[2-(diphenylmethoxy)ethyl]-4-(3-phenylpropyl)piperazine (1) and 1-[2-[bis-(4-fluorophenyl)methoxy]ethyl]-4-(3-phenylpropyl)piperazine (2) (GBR 12395 and GBR 12909, respectively), directed toward the development and identification of new ligands interacting with high potency and selectivity at the dopamine transporter (DAT) is reported. The substitution of the piperazine ring in the GBR structure with other diamine moieties resulted in the retention of the high affinity of new ligands for the DAT. Some of the modified GBR analogs (e.g. 8, 10, (-)-49, or (-)-50) displayed substantially higher selectivity (4736- to 693-fold) for the dopamine (DA) versus the serotonin (5HT) reuptake site than the parent compounds. The bis(p-fluoro) substitution in the (diphenylmethoxy)ethyl fragment slightly increased the affinity of the ligands at the DA reuptake site but reduced their selectivity at this site (e.g. 9 and 8, 11 and 10, or 17 and 16, respectively). Congeners, such as the series of monosubstituted and symmetrically disubstituted piperazines and trans-2,5-dimethylpiperazines, which lack the (diphenylmethoxy)ethyl substituent lost the affinity for the DAT yet exhibited very high potency for binding to the sigma receptors (e.g.28). The chiral pyrrolidine derivatives of 1, (-)-49, and (+)-49, exhibited an enantioselectivity ratio of 181 and 146 for the inhibition of DA reuptake and binding to the DAT, respectively.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / drug effects
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cocaine / pharmacology
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / chemical synthesis*
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Drug Design
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Piperazines / chemical synthesis*
  • Piperazines / metabolism
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Drug / metabolism
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Piperazines
  • Receptors, Drug
  • Slc6a3 protein, rat
  • cocaine receptor
  • Serotonin
  • vanoxerine
  • 1-(2 (diphenylmethoxy)ethyl)-4-(3-phenylpropyl)piperazine
  • Cocaine
  • Dopamine