The alleged dopamine D1 receptor agonist SKF 83959 is a dopamine D1 receptor antagonist in primate cells and interacts with other receptors

G Andringa, B Drukarch, J E Leysen, A R Cools, J C Stoof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


So far, no clear correlation has been found between the effects of dopamine D1 receptor agonists on motor behavior in primate models of Parkinson's disease and their ability to stimulate adenylate cyclase in rats, the benzazepine SKF 83959 (3-methyl-6-chloro-7,8-hydroxy-1-[3-methylphenyl]-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-]H- 3-benzazepine) being the most striking example. Since this discrepancy might be attributed to: (A) the different species used to study these effects or (B) the interaction of SKF 83959 with other catecholamine receptors, the aims of this study were: (1) to study the ability of SKF 83959 to stimulate adenylate cyclase in cultured human and monkey glial cells equipped with dopamine D1 receptors and (2) to evaluate the affinity for and the functional interaction of SKF 83959 with other catecholamine receptors. Binding studies revealed that SKF 83959 displayed the highest affinity for the dopamine D1 receptor (pKi=6.72) and the alpha2-adrenoceptor (pKi=6.41) and moderate affinity for the dopamine D2 receptor and the noradrenaline transporter. In monkey and human cells, SKF 83959 did not stimulate cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) formation to a significant extent, but antagonized very potently the dopamine-induced stimulation of cAMP formation in both cell types. The compound stimulated basal dopamine outflow and inhibited depolarization-induced acetylcholine release only at concentrations > 10 microM. Finally, SKF 83959 concentration dependently increased electrically evoked noradrenaline release, indicating that it had alpha2-adrenoceptor blocking activity and interfered with the noradrenaline transporter. In conclusion, SKF 83959 is a potent dopamine D1 receptor and alpha2-adrenoceptor antagonist. Thus, the anti-parkinsonian effects of SKF 83959 in primates are not mediated by striatal dopamine D1 receptors coupled to adenylate cyclase in a stimulatory way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

Cite this