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Eur J Pharm Sci September 1, 2003; 20 (1): 17-26.

Highly water-soluble derivatives of the anesthetic agent propofol: in vitro and in vivo evaluation of cyclic amino acid esters.

Altomare C , Trapani G , Latrofa A , Serra M , Sanna E , Biggio G , Liso G .

Cyclic amino acid esters of propofol were synthesized in an attempt to develop new water-soluble anesthetic agents. Their solubility and stability in aqueous solution, and their ability to release propofol in vitro under physiological conditions were determined. L-Proline (6a) and racemic nipecotic acid (6c) esters were found to be highly soluble in water. Sufficiently stable at physiological pH (half-lives >6 h), the alpha-amino acid esters, 6a and 6b, were found to be quantitatively hydrolyzed in plasma and liver esterase solutions within a few minutes, showing prodrug behavior. The in vitro activity of the esters, determined either by the [(35)S]tert-butylbicyclophosphorothionate ([(35)S]TBPS) binding assay or electrophysiological measurements of the action at cloned human receptors, proved to be a mechanism involving allosteric modulation of GABA(A) receptors. Indeed, L-proline (6a), and racemic pipecolinate (6b) and nipecotate (6c), like propofol, reduced [(35)S]TBPS binding, whereas isonipecotate (6d) showed bicuculline-like behavior, increasing [(35)S]TBPS binding. A nonlinear relation between GABA(A) receptor binding affinity and lipophilicity, as assessed by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, emerged as a trend. The in vivo anticonvulsant and anesthetic activities of prolinate 6a, intraperitoneally administered in water solution, showed that is a water-soluble propofol prodrug candidate for developing formulations useful for parenteral administration.

PubMed ID: 13678789
Article link: Eur J Pharm Sci

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: ces3.4