Synthesis and pharmacological effects of new, N-substituted soft anticholinergics based on glycopyrrolate

F. Ji, W. Wu, X. Dai, N. Mori, J. Wu, P. Buchwald, Nicholas Bodor

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16 Scopus citations


To reduce the possibility of systemic side-effects in locally administered anticholinergics, two new N-substituted glycopyrrolate analogues designed using soft drug design approaches have been synthesized and evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Because stereospecificity is known to be important at muscarinic receptors, the new compounds SGM and SGE also have been prepared as their pure 2R isomers, 2R-SGM and 2R-SGE, by starting from optically pure (-)-cyclopentylmandelic acid, and the corresponding isomers were indeed found to be more active. The new soft glycopyrrolates were chemically more stable under acidic conditions, and the ethyl esters SGE were more stable than the methyl esters SGM. The new compounds were also found to be quite susceptible to extrahepatic metabolism, having half-lives of 20-30 min in rat plasma (in vitro), consistent with their soft nature. Binding studies at human muscarinic receptors (M1-M4) and guinea-pig ileum assays found 2R-SGM and 2R-SGE to have potencies somewhat less than, but close to, those of glycopyrrolate and N-methylscopolamine. They caused pupil dilation in rabbit eyes, but their mydriatic effects lasted for considerably less time than that of glycopyrrolate, and they did not induce dilation of the pupil in the contralateral, water-treated eyes, indicating that, in agreement with their soft nature, they are locally active, but safe and with a low potential to cause systemic side-effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1427-1435
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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