Novel Pharmaceutical Drugs Derived From Natural Products in Amphibians

TitleNovel Pharmaceutical Drugs Derived From Natural Products in Amphibians
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsMcKenzie, Ashley B. T.
Academic DepartmentBiology
Thesis AdvisorMason, Dr. Robert T.
DegreeBachlor of Arts in International Studies in Biology
Number of Pages41
Date Published06/2005
UniversityOregon State University
Keywordsalkaloid, Amphibians, biology, frog, Pharmaceutical, Poison Arrow Frog

ABT-594 (®-2-Chloro-5-(2-azetidinylmethoxy) pyridine), a promising candidate as a new analgesic was derived from Epibatidine, a powerful alkaloid found in Dendrobates auratus (the Green and Black Poison Arrow Frog) that is structurally similar to nicotine. Because of this structural similarity, ABT-594 has high affinity for neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) but does not elicit the same striking toxicity of Epibatidine. Multiple laboratory experiments including formalin tests, tail flick tests, and hot plate tests performed on rats demonstrate the remarkable efficacy of ABT-594 as an analgesic as well as its clear separation between pain-blocking effects and motor suppression. This separation occurs due to ABT-594’s potent non-opioid analgesic properties as well as its selective binding to nAChRs in the central nervous system opposed to the neuromuscular junction.