Dopaminergic profile of new heterocyclic N-phenylpiperazine derivatives.
ABSTRACT Dopamine constitutes about 80% of the content of central catecholamines and has a crucial role in the etiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including Parkinson's disease, depression and schizophrenia. Several dopaminergic drugs are used to treat these pathologies, but many problems are attributed to these therapies. Within this context, the search for new more efficient dopaminergic agents with less adverse effects represents a vast research field. The aim of the present study was to report the structural design of two N-phenylpiperazine derivatives, compound 4: 1-[1-(4-chlorophenyl)-1H-4-pyrazolylmethyl]-4-phenylhexahydropyrazine and compound 5: 1-[1-(4-chlorophenyl)-1H-1,2,3-triazol-4-ylmethyl]-4-phenylhexahydropyrazine, planned to be dopamine ligands, and their dopaminergic action profile. The two compounds were assayed (dose range of 15-40 mg/kg) in three experimental models: 1) blockade of amphetamine (30 mg/kg, ip)-induced stereotypy in rats; 2) the catalepsy test in mice, and 3) apomorphine (1 mg/kg, ip)-induced hypothermia in mice. Both derivatives induced cataleptic behavior (40 mg/kg, ip) and a hypothermic response (30 mg/kg, ip) which was not prevented by haloperidol (0.5 mg/kg, ip). Compound 5 (30 mg/kg, ip) also presented a synergistic hypothermic effect with apomorphine (1 mg/kg, ip). Only compound 4 (30 mg/kg, ip) significantly blocked the amphetamine-induced stereotypy in rats. The N-phenylpiperazine derivatives 4 and 5 seem to have a peculiar profile of action on dopaminergic functions. On the basis of the results of catalepsy and amphetamine-induced stereotypy, the compounds demonstrated an inhibitory effect on dopaminergic behaviors. However, their hypothermic effect is compatible with the stimulation of dopaminergic function which seems not to be mediated by D2/D3 receptors.