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In vitro and in silico analysis of the effects of D2 receptor antagonist target binding kinetics on the cellular response to fluctuating dopamine concentrations

British Journal of Pharmacology
July 28, 2018

Background and Purpose

Target binding kinetics influence the time course of the drug effect (pharmacodynamics) both (i) directly, by affecting the time course of target occupancy, driven by the pharmacokinetics of the drug, competition with endogenous ligands and target turnover, and (ii) indirectly, by affecting signal transduction and homeostatic feedback. For dopamine D2 receptor antagonists, it has been hypothesized that fast receptor binding kinetics cause fewer side effects, because part of the dynamics of the dopaminergic system is preserved by displacement of these antagonists.

Experimental Approach

Target binding kinetics of D2 receptor antagonists and signal transduction after dopamine and D2 receptor antagonist exposure were measured in vitro. These data were integrated by mechanistic modelling, taking into account competitive binding of endogenous dopamine and the antagonist, the turnover of the second messenger cAMP and negative feedback by PDE turnover.

Key Results

The proposed signal transduction model successfully described the cellular cAMP response for 17 D2 receptor antagonists with widely different binding kinetics. Simulation of the response to fluctuating dopamine concentrations revealed that a significant effect of the target binding kinetics on the dynamics of the signalling only occurs at endogenous dopamine concentration fluctuations with frequencies below 1 min−1.

Conclusions and Implications

Signal transduction and feedback are important determinants of the time course of drug effects. The effect of the D2 receptor antagonist dissociation rate constant (koff) is limited to the maximal rate of fluctuations in dopamine signalling as determined by the dopamine koff and the cAMP turnover.