Phosphodiesterase inhibitors for cognitive enhancement.
ABSTRACT An effective treatment for age-related cognitive deficits remains an unmet medical need. Currently available drugs for the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer's disease or other dementias have limited efficacy. This may be due to their action at only one of the many neurotransmitter systems involved in the complex mechanisms that underlie cognition. An alternative approach would be to target second messenger systems that are utilized by multiple neurotransmitters. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is a second messenger that plays a key role in biochemical processes that regulate the cognitive process of memory consolidation. Prolongation of cAMP signals can be accomplished by inhibiting phosphodiesterases (PDEs). Eleven PDE families, comprised of more than 50 distinct members, are currently known. This review summarizes the evidence demonstrating that rolipram, a selective inhibitor of cAMP-selective PDE4 enzymes, has positive effects on learning and memory in animal models. These data provide support for the general approach of second messenger modulation as a potential therapy for cognitive dysfunction, and specifically suggest that PDE4 inhibitors may have utility for improving the symptoms of cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases.
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ABSTRACT: Congenital cognitive dysfunctions are frequently due to deficits in molecular pathways that underlie the induction or maintenance of synaptic plasticity. For example, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS) is due to a mutation in cbp, encoding the histone acetyltransferase CREB-binding protein (CBP). CBP is a transcriptional co-activator for CREB, and induction of CREB-dependent transcription plays a key role in long-term memory (LTM). In animal models of RTS, mutations of cbp impair LTM and late-phase long-term potentiation (LTP). As a step toward exploring plausible intervention strategies to rescue the deficits in LTP, we extended our previous model of LTP induction to describe histone acetylation and simulated LTP impairment due to cbp mutation. Plausible drug effects were simulated by model parameter changes, and many increased LTP. However no parameter variation consistent with a biochemical effect of a known drug class fully restored LTP. Thus we examined paired parameter variations consistent with effects of known drugs. A pair that simulated the effects of a phosphodiesterase inhibitor (slowing cAMP degradation) concurrent with a deacetylase inhibitor (prolonging histone acetylation) restored normal LTP. Importantly these paired parameter changes did not alter basal synaptic weight. A pair that simulated the effects of a phosphodiesterase inhibitor and an acetylase activator was similarly effective. For both pairs strong additive synergism was present. The effect of the combination was greater than the summed effect of the separate parameter changes. These results suggest that promoting histone acetylation while simultaneously slowing the degradation of cAMP may constitute a promising strategy for restoring deficits in LTP that may be associated with learning deficits in RTS. More generally these results illustrate how the strategy of combining modeling and empirical studies may provide insights into the design of effective therapies for improving long-term synaptic plasticity and learning associated with cognitive disorders.Journal of Theoretical Biology 07/2014; 360. DOI:10.1016/j.jtbi.2014.07.006 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A simple and efficient synthetic method for the preparation of quinazoline type phosphodiesterase 7 (PDE7) inhibitors, based on microwave irradiation, has been developed. The use of this methodology improved yields and reaction times, providing a scalable procedure. These compounds are pharmacologically interesting because of their in vivo efficacy both in spinal cord injury and Parkinson's disease models, as shown in previous studies from our group. Herein we describe for the first time that administration of one of the PDE7 inhibitors here optimized, 3-phenyl-2,4-dithioxo-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinazoline (compound 5), ameliorated brain damage and improved behavioral outcome in a permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) stroke model. Furthermore, we demonstrate that these PDE7 inhibitors are potent anti-inflammatory as well as neuroprotective agents in primary cultures of neural cells. These results led us to propose PDE7 inhibitors as a new class of therapeutic agents for neuroprotection.European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 11/2011; 47(1):175-85. DOI:10.1016/j.ejmech.2011.10.040 · 3.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A number of selective phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors have been demonstrated to improve learning in several rodent models of cognition. Given that schizophrenia is associated with impairments in frontal lobe-dependent cognitive functions (e.g., working memory and cognitive flexibility), we examined whether PDE inhibitors would attenuate cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. Persistent suppression of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor function produces enduring structural changes in neocortical and limbic regions in a pattern similar to changes reported in schizophrenia. This similarity suggests that subchronic treatment with NMDA receptor antagonists (e.g., phencyclidine, PCP) may represent a useful preclinical model of neurobiological and related cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. We treated male Long-Evans rats with subchronic PCP (5 mg/kg, ip, BID, 7 d) or saline and then examined the effects of acute treatment with selected doses of PDE inhibitors that have been demonstrated to regulate both intracellular levels of cAMP and/or cGMP, and to improve cognitive function. We used an extradimensional-intradimensional (ED/ID) test of cognitive flexibility similar to those used in humans and non-human primates for assessing executive function. Subchronic treatment with PCP produced a selective impairment on ED shift (EDS) performance without significant impairment on any other discrimination problem when compared to saline-treated control animals. Selected doses of the four PDEIs evaluated (PDE2: BAY 60-7550; PDE4: rolipram; PDE5: sildenafil; PDE10A: papaverine) were able to significantly attenuate this cognitive deficit in EDS performance. This suggests that this rodent model of executive function was sensitive to pro-cognitive effects of intracellular effects resulting from PDE inhibition. Together, these data suggest that inhibition of PDE activity may represent valuable therapeutic targets to improve cognition associated with neuropsychiatric disorders that feature cognitive dysfunction as a key symptom.Neuropharmacology 08/2011; 62(3):1182-90. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.08.008 · 4.82 Impact Factor