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Monte AP, Marona-Lewicka D, Parker MA, Wainscott DB, Nelson DL, Nichols DE. 
“Dihydrobenzofuran analogues of hallucinogens. 3. Models of 4-substituted (2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)alkylamine derivatives with rigidified methoxy groups”. 
J Med Chem. 1996 Jul 19;39(15):2953-61.
Tetrahydrobenzodifuran functionalities were employed as conformationally restricted bioisosteres of the aromatic methoxy groups in prototypical hallucinogenic phenylalkylamines 1 and 2. Thus, a series of 8-substituted 1-(2,3,6,7-tetrahydrobenzo[1,2-b:4,5-b']difuran-4-yl)-2-aminoal kanes (7a-e) were prepared and evaluated for activity in the two-lever drug discrimination paradigm in rats trained to discriminate saline from LSD tartrate (0.08 mg/kg) and for the ability to displace [3H]ketanserin from rat cortical homogenate 5-HT2A receptors and [3H]-8-OH-DPAT from rat hippocampal homogenate 5-HT1A receptors. In addition, 1-(8-bromo-2,3,6,7-tetrahydrobenzo[1,2-b:4,5-b']difuran-4-yl)-2-am inopropane (7b), which was found to be extremely potent in the rat in vivo assays, was evaluated for its ability to compete with [125I]DOI and [3H]ketanserin binding to cells expressing cloned human 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B, and 5-HT2C receptors. All of the dihydrofuranyl compounds having a hydrophobic substituent para to the alkylamine side chain had activities in both the in vitro and in vivo assays that equaled or surpassed the activity of the analogous conformationally flexible parent compounds. For example, 7b substituted for LSD in the drug discrimination assay with an ED50 of 61 nmol/kg and had Kj values in the nanomolar to subnanomolar range for the displacement of radioligand from rat and human 5-HT2 receptors, making it one of the most potent hallucinogen-like phenylalkylamine derivatives reported to date. The results suggest that the dihydrofuran rings in these new analogues effectively model the active binding conformations of the methoxy groups of the parent compounds 1 and 2. In addition, the results provide information about the topography and relative orientation of residues involved in agonist binding in the serotonin 5-HT2 receptors.
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