Syntheses of (1RS,2SR,6SR)-2-alkoxymethyl-, 2-hetaryl-, and 2-(hetarylmethyl)-7-arylmethyl-4,7-diaza-9-oxabicyclo[4.3.0]nonan-8-ones, of interest as potential muscarinic M-1 receptor agonists, are described. A key step in the synthesis of (1RS, 2SR, 6SR)-7-benzyl-6-cyclobutyl-2-methoxymethyl-4,7-diaza-9-oxabicyclo[4.3.0]nonan-8-one, was the addition of isopropenylmagnesium bromide to 2-benzyloxycarbonylamino-3-tert-butyldimethylsilyloxy-2-cyclobutylpropanal. This gave the 4-tert-butyldimethylsilyloxymethyl-4-cyclobutyl-5-isopropenyloxazolidinone with the 5-isopropenyl and 4-tert-butyldimethyl-silyloxymethyl groups cis-disposed about the five-membered ring by chelation controlled addition and in situ cyclisation. This reaction was useful for a range of organometallic reagents. The hydroboration-oxidation of (4SR,5RS)-3-benzyl-4-(tert-butyldimethylsilyloxymethyl)-4-cyclobutyl-5-(1-methoxyprop-2-en-2-yl)-1,3-oxazolidin-2-one gave (4SR, 5RS)-3-benzyl-4-(tert-butyldimethylsilyloxymethyl)-4cyclobutyl-5-[(SR)-1-hydroxy-3-methoxyprop-2-yl]-1,3-oxazolidin-2-one stereoselectively. 4,7-Diaza-9-oxabicyclo[4.3.0] nonan-8-ones with substituents at C2 that could facilitate C2 deprotonation were unstable with respect to oxazolidinone ring-opening and this restricted both the synthetic approach and choice of 2-heteroaryl substituent. The bicyclic system with a 2-furyl substituent at C2 was therefore identified as an important target. The addition of 1-lithio-1-(2-furyl) ethene to 2-benzyloxycarbonylamino-3-tert-butyldimethylsilyloxy-2-cyclobutylpropanal gave (4SR, 5RS)-4-tert-butyldimethylsilyloxymethyl-4-cyclobutyl-5-[1-(2-furyl) ethenyl]-1,3-oxazolidinone after chelation controlled addition and in situ cyclisation. Following oxazolidinone N-benzylation, hydroboration at 35 degrees C, since hydroboration at 0 degrees C was unexpectedly selective for the undesired isomer, followed by oxidation gave a mixture of side-chain epimeric alcohols that were separated after SEM-protection and selective desilylation. Conversion of the neopentylic alcohols into the corresponding primary amines by reductive amination, was followed by N-nosylation, removal of the SEM-groups and cyclisation using a Mitsunobu reaction. Denosylation then gave the 2-furyloxazolidinonyl-fused piperidines, the (1RS, 2SR, 6SR)-epimer showing an allosteric agonistic effect on M-1 receptors. Further studies resulted in the synthesis of other 2-substituted 4,7diaza-9-oxabicyclo[4.3.0] nonan-8-ones and an analogous tetrahydropyran.