BIIE0246, a potent and highly selective non-peptide neuropeptide Y Y2 receptor antagonist


Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, 6875 LaSalle Blvd., Verdun, QC, H4H 1R3, Canada. E-mail:


  • BIIE0246, a newly synthesized non-peptide neuropeptide Y (NPY) Y2 receptor antagonist, was able to compete with high affinity (8 to 15 nM) for specific [125I]PYY3–36 binding sites in HEK293 cells transfected with the rat Y2 receptor cDNA, and in rat brain and human frontal cortex membrane homogenates.

  • Interestingly, in rat brain homogenates while NPY, C2-NPY and PYY3–36 inhibited all specific [125I]PYY3–36 labelling, BIIE0246 failed to compete for all specific binding suggesting that [125I]PYY3–36 recognized, in addition to the Y2 subtype, another population of specific NPY binding sites, most likely the Y5 receptor.

  • Quantitative receptor autoradiographic data confirmed the presence of [125I]PYY3–36/BIIE0246-sensitive (Y2) and-insensitive (Y5) binding sites in the rat brain as well as in the marmoset monkey and human hippocampal formation.

  • In the rat vas deferens and dog saphenous vein (two prototypical Y2 bioassays), BIIE0246 induced parallel shifts to the right of NPY concentration-response curves with pA2 values of 8.1 and 8.6, respectively. In the rat colon (a Y2/Y4 bioassay), BIIE0246 (1 μM) completely blocked the contraction induced by PYY3–36, but not that of [Leu31,Pro34]NPY (a Y1, Y4 and Y5 agonist) and hPP (a Y4 and Y5 agonist). Additionally, BIIE0246 failed to alter the contractile effects of NPY in prototypical Y1in vitro bioassays.

  • Taken together, these results demonstrate that BIIE0246 is a highly potent, high affinity antagonist selective for the Y2 receptor subtype. It should prove most useful to establish further the functional role of the Y2 receptor in the organism.

British Journal of Pharmacology (2000) 129, 1075–1088; doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0703162