Terlipressin, a vasoactive prodrug recommended in hepatorenal syndrome, is an agonist of human V1, V2 and V1B receptors: Implications for its safety profile

Abstract : Terlipressin is recommended as a gold standard to treat hepatorenal syndrome complicating liver cirrhosis. It is presented as a specific V1A receptor agonist, beyond its enzymatic conversion into lysine8-Vasopressin (LVP), able to counteract the splanchnic vasodilation. However, the complete pharmacological characterization of this drug with respect to the different vasopressin receptor subtypes is missing. We studied terlipressin intrinsic properties, focusing not only on V1A, but also on other vasopressin receptor subtypes. The experimental studies were conducted on rat and human cellular models. Binding experiments were performed on rat liver membranes and CHO cells transfected with the different human vasopressin receptor subtypes. Agonist status was assessed from inositol phosphate or cyclic AMP assays, and measurement of intracellular calcium variations, performed on cultured vascular smooth muscle cells from rat aorta and human uterine artery and CHO cells. Terlipressin binds to the rat and human V1A receptors with an affinity in the micromolar range, a value 120 fold lower than that of LVP. It induces a rapid and transient intracellular calcium increase, a robust stimulation of phospholipase C but with reduced maximal efficiencies as compared to LVP, indicating a partial V1A agonist property. In addition, terlipressin is also a full agonist of human V2 and V1B receptors, with also a micromomolar affinity.
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Pascal Colson, Anne Virsolvy, Philippe Gaudard, Azzouz Charrabi, Maithé Corbani, et al.. Terlipressin, a vasoactive prodrug recommended in hepatorenal syndrome, is an agonist of human V1, V2 and V1B receptors: Implications for its safety profile. Pharmacological Research, Elsevier, 2016, 113, pp.257 - 264. ⟨10.1016/j.phrs.2016.08.027⟩. ⟨hal-01783524⟩

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