Blockage of β1-adrenergic receptors is one of the most effective treatments in cardiovascular medicine. Esmolol was introduced some three decades ago as a short-acting β1-selective antagonist. Landiolol is a more recent addition. Here we compared the two compounds for their selectivity for β1-adrenergic receptors over β2-adrenergic receptors, partial agonistic activity, signaling bias, and pharmacochaperoning action by using human embryonic kidney (HEK)293 cell lines, which heterologously express each human receptor subtype. The affinity of landiolol for β1-adrenergic receptors and β2-adrenergic receptors was higher and lower than that of esmolol, respectively, resulting in an improved selectivity (216-fold versus 30-fold). The principal metabolite of landiolol (M1) was also β1-selective, but its affinity was very low. Both landiolol and esmolol caused a very modest rise in cAMP levels but a robust increase in the phosphorylation of extracellular signal regulated kinases 1 and 2, indicating that the two drugs exerted partial agonist activity with a signaling bias. If cells were incubated for ≥24 hours in the presence of ≥1 μM esmolol, the levels of β1-adrenergic—but not of β2-adrenergic—receptors increased. This effect was contingent on export of the β1-receptor from endoplasmic reticulum and was not seen in the presence of landiolol. On the basis of these observations, we conclude that landiolol offers the advantage of: 1) improved selectivity and 2) the absence of pharmacochaperoning activity, which sensitizes cells to rebound effects upon drug discontinuation.
- Received February 15, 2016.
- Accepted July 18, 2016.
This work was supported by a grant from AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG, Vienna, Austria, which markets esmolol and has a commercial interest in landiolol.
- Copyright © 2016 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics