Radiohalogenated estrogens have considerable potential for estrogen receptor-directed imaging and therapy for cancers which contain such receptors. In an effort to evaluate the potential of the triphenyl ethylene structure for such purposes we have synthesized 3 series of 2-halosubstituted triphenylethylenes containing oxygen functions in the 4 position of both aromatic rings attached to carbon 1 of the ethylene and tested their uterotrophic activity and competition for rat uterine low salt extractable, "cytosol" estrogen receptor. Most active, both as competitors for estradiol binding to estrogen receptors and by their ability to stimulate uterine growth are the 1,1-bis-4-hydroxyphenyl derivatives although the 1,1-bis-4-acetoxyphenyl derivatives also show good receptor affinity and demonstrate uterotrophic activities. However, since uterine cytosol contains enzymes which hydrolyze the acetates to the free phenols even during the incubation in the cold used for the competitive binding studies, a significant portion of the competition shown by the diacetates is probably due to their hydrolysis products, the free phenols. The 1,1-bis-4-methoxyphenyl derivatives are weak competitive binders and demonstrate uterotrophic activity only when administered at the higher, 20 μg, doses. Comparing the relative activities of various halogens at the 2 position, in each series the bromo and chloro derivatives generally were of similar activity and significantly more active than the corresponding iodo derivative. The non-halogen substituted derivatives were very good competitors for estrogen receptor binding but less active with regard to uterine growth stimulation, providing evidence that in vivo the vinyl halides would appear to be relatively stable to simple dehalogenation. Since they show reasonably good apparent affinities for the estrogen receptor and apparent in vivo stability, reflected by estrogenic activity, these halogen substituted triphenylethylene derivatives appear to be promising substrates for investigations of estrogen receptor directed imaging and therapy.
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