Annalida Bedini

Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo", Urbino, The Marches, Italy

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Publications (62)175.06 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ramelteon , a selective melatonin receptor agonist, is the first member of a novel class of hypnotics. It is approved for the treatment of insomnia characterized by sleep onset difficulties in the US and Japan, but not in Europe. Areas covered: The main clinical properties as well as safety issues of ramelteon are described. Relevant publications reporting ramelteon characteristics and its use in insomnia disorder were identified using PubMed and SciFinder databases up to January 2015. Additional information was collected from the US clinical trials database and from Takeda website. Expert opinion: Despite its high prevalence and economic burden, insomnia disorder remains mostly untreated. Ramelteon has demonstrated sleep-promoting effects in clinical trials and clinical practice, and it is not associated with the adverse effects typical of other class of hypnotics. Its efficacy appears to be relatively modest compared to current insomnia therapeutics, and its use seems restricted to patients with sleep onset difficulties. Assessment of ramelteon effects on sleep quality and maintenance, daytime function and of improvements in comorbid insomnia conditions deserves further studies. The potential application of ramelteon in other pathological conditions could open the way to novel therapeutic approaches as well as to new market opportunities.
    Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism &amp Toxicology 05/2015; DOI:10.1517/17425255.2015.1045487 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The selective C3-alkylation of indoles with N-protected ethanolamines involving the "borrowing hydrogen" strategy is described. This method provides convenient and sustainable access to several tryptamine derivatives.
    The Journal of Organic Chemistry 02/2015; 80(6). DOI:10.1021/acs.joc.5b00195 · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuropathic pain is an important public health problem for which only a few treatments are available. Preclinical studies show that melatonin (MLT), a neurohormone acting on MT1 and MT2 receptors, has analgesic properties, likely through MT2 receptors. Here, we determined the effects of the novel selective MLT MT2 receptor partial agonist N-{2-([3-bromophenyl]-4-fluorophenylamino)ethyl}acetamide (UCM924) in 2 neuropathic pain models in rats and examined its supraspinal mechanism of action. In rat L5-L6 spinal nerve ligation and spared nerve injury models, UCM924 (20-40 mg/kg, subcutaneously) produced a prolonged antinociceptive effect that is : (1) dose-dependent and blocked by the selective MT2 receptor antagonist 4-phenyl-2-propionamidotetralin, (2) superior to a high dose of MLT (150 mg/kg) and comparable with gabapentin (100 mg/kg), but (3) without noticeable motor coordination impairments in the rotarod test. Using double staining immunohistochemistry, we found that MT2 receptors are expressed by glutamatergic neurons in the rostral ventrolateral periaqueductal gray. Using in vivo electrophysiology combined with tail flick, we observed that microinjection of UCM924 into the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray decreased tail flick responses, depressed the firing activity of ON cells, and activated the firing of OFF cells; all effects were MT2 receptor-dependent. Altogether, these data demonstrate that selective MT2 receptor partial agonists have analgesic properties through modulation of brainstem descending antinociceptive pathways, and MT2 receptors may represent a novel target in the treatment of neuropathic pain.
    Pain 02/2015; 156(2):305-317. DOI:10.1097/01.j.pain.0000460311.71572.5f · 5.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Melatonin is a neurohormone involved in the regulation of circadian rhythms, with potent antioxidant activity. It has a wide functional repertoire, with effects almost on all tissues and organs. It is mainly used as a dietary supplement for sleep regulation and re-synchronization of disrupted circadian rhythms. Melatonin has very low toxicity, but some pharmacokinetic issues, such as limited oral bioavailability and short half-life, limit its tissue availability. Areas covered: Patents and patent applications from 2012 to September 2014 in which melatonin or synthetic analogues are claimed for the prevention or treatment of pathological conditions. Expert opinion: Melatonin is considered a valuable substance that can be safely administered for the prevention and treatment of many diverse diseases. A major trend in 2012 - 2014 patents is the co-administration of melatonin with other drugs to increase the efficacy of the treatment and reduce side-effects. Two different actions have been combined in hybrid ligands (e.g., melatonin-tamoxifen and melatonin-tacrine derivatives). Further experimental evidence is needed to support the usefulness of these approaches. The number of new melatonin analogues has shown a marked decrease in the past 3 years, with claimed applications mainly as hypnotic or antioxidant agents.
    Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents 01/2015; 25(4):1-17. DOI:10.1517/13543776.2014.1001739 · 3.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melatonin is an endogenous molecule involved in many pathophysiological processes. In addition to the control of circadian rhythms, its antioxidant and neuroprotective properties have been widely described. Thus far, different bivalent compounds composed by a melatonin molecule linked to another neuroprotective agent were synthesized and tested for their ability to block neurodegenerative processes in vitro and in vivo. To identify a novel class of potential neuroprotective compounds, we prepared a series of bivalent ligands, in which a prototypic melatonergic ligand is connected to an imidazole-based H3 receptor antagonist through a flexible linker. Four imidazolyl-alkyloxy-anilinoethylamide derivatives, characterized by linkers of different length, were synthesized and their binding affinity for human MT1, MT2 and H3 receptor subtypes was evaluated. Among the tested compounds, 14c and 14d, bearing a pentyl and a hexyl linker, respectively, were able to bind to all receptor subtypes at micromolar concentrations and represent the first bivalent melatonergic/histaminergic ligands reported so far. These preliminary results, based on binding affinity evaluation, pave the way for the future development of new dual-acting compounds targeting both melatonin and histamine receptors, which could represent promising therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurodegenerative pathologies.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 09/2014; 15(9):16114-16133. DOI:10.3390/ijms150916114 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many known 5-HT7 ligands contain either a serotonin-like or an arylpiperazine structure that, in published SAR studies, are generally supposed to bind the same receptor pocket. Conversely, we explored the hypothesis that two such moieties can co-exist in the same ligand, binding to different pockets. We thus designed and synthesized a set of compounds including both a 5-hydroxyindol-3-ylethyl and a 1-arylpiperazine moieties connected by a short linker. The compounds were tested for their affinity for human 5-HT7 serotonin receptor. We further prepared a novel series of 5-HT7 ligands, where the 5-hydroxyindol-3-ylethyl moiety was bioisosterically replaced by a 3-hydroxyanilinoalkyl one. Among the newly synthesized compounds, potent ligands at the 5-HT7 receptor, behaving as antagonists in functional tests, were identified, even if they showed limited subtype selectivity. Docking studies within a model of the 5-HT7 receptor showed that the binding site can actually accommodate both moieties, with the serotonin-like one in the putative orthosteric site and the arylpiperazine one occupying an accessory pocket. The present results demonstrate that it is possible to devise and develop new 5-HT7 ligands merging two privileged structures in the same molecule.
    European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 04/2014; 80C:8-35. DOI:10.1016/j.ejmech.2014.04.034 · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melatonin (MLT) is a neurohormone implicated in several physiological processes such as sleep. Contrasting results have been produced on whether or not it may act as a hypnotic agent, and the neurobiological mechanism through which it controls the vigilance states has not yet been elucidated. In this study we investigated the effect of MLT (40mg/kg), a non-selective MT1/MT2 receptor agonist (UCM793, 40mg/kg), and a selective MT2 partial agonist (UCM924, 40mg/kg) on the 24-hr vigilance states. EEG and EMG sleep-wake patterns were registered across the 24-h light-dark cycle in adult Sprague-Dawley male rats. MLT decreased (-37%) the latency to the first episode of non rapid eye movement sleep (NREMS), enhanced the power of NREMS delta band (+33%), but did not alter the duration of any of the three vigilance states. Differently, UCM793 increased the number of episodes (+52%) and decreased the length of the episodes (-38%) of wakefulness but did not alter the 24-hr duration of wakefulness, NREMS and REMS. UCM924 instead reduced the latency (-56%) and increased (+31%) the duration of NREMS. Moreover, it raised the number of REMS episodes (+57%) but did not affect REMS duration. Taken together, these findings show that MLT and non-selective MT1/MT2 receptor agonists do not increase the quantity of sleep but differently influence the three vigilance states. In addition, they support the evidence that selective MT2 receptor agonists increase NREM duration compared to MLT and non-selective MT1/MT2 agonists.
    Neuroscience Letters 01/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2013.12.069 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melatonin exerts many of its actions through the activation of two G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), named MT1 and MT2. So far, a number of different MT1 and MT2 receptor homology models, built either from the prototypic structure of rhodopsin or from recently solved X-ray structures of druggable GPCRs, have been proposed. These receptor models differ in the binding modes hypothesized for melatonin and melatonergic ligands, with distinct patterns of ligand-receptor interactions and putative bioactive conformations of ligands. The receptor models will be described, and they will be discussed in light of the available information from mutagenesis experiments and ligand-based pharmacophore models. The ability of these ligand-receptor complexes to rationalize structure-activity relationships of known series of melatonergic compounds will be commented upon.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 04/2013; 14(4):8093-121. DOI:10.3390/ijms14048093 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The design of compounds selective for the MT(1) melatonin receptor is still a challenging task owing to the limited knowledge of the structural features conferring selectivity for the MT(1) subtype, and only few selective compounds have been reported so far. N-(Anilinoalkyl)amides are a versatile class of melatonin receptor ligands that include nonselective MT(1) /MT(2) agonists and MT(2) -selective antagonists. We synthesized a new series of N-(anilinoalkyl)amides bearing 3-arylalkyloxy or 3-alkyloxy substituents at the aniline ring, looking for new potent and MT(1) -selective ligands. To evaluate the effect of substituent size and shape on binding affinity and intrinsic activity, both flexible and conformationally constrained derivatives were prepared. The phenylbutyloxy substituent gave the best result, providing the partial agonist 4 a, which was endowed with high MT(1) binding affinity (pK(i) =8.93) and 78-fold selectivity for the MT(1) receptor. To investigate the molecular basis for agonist recognition, and to explain the role of the 3-arylalkyloxy substituent, we built a homology model of the MT(1) receptor based on the β(2) adrenergic receptor crystal structure in its activated state. A binding mode for MT(1) agonists is proposed, as well as a hypothesis regarding the receptor structural features responsible for MT(1) selectivity of compounds with lipophilic arylalkyloxy substituents.
    ChemMedChem 11/2012; 7(11). DOI:10.1002/cmdc.201200303 · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melatonin (MLT) is a neurohormone known to be involved in the regulation of anxiety. Most of the physiological actions of MLT in the brain are mediated by two high-affinity G-protein-coupled receptors, denoted MT(1) and MT(2). However, the particular role of these receptors in anxiety remains to be defined. Here we used a novel MT(2)-selective partial agonist, UCM765 to evaluate the involvement of MT(2) receptors in anxiety. Adult male rats were acutely injected with UCM765 (5-10-20mg/kg), MLT (20mg/kg) or diazepam (DZ, 1mg/kg). Anxiety-related behaviors were assessed in the elevated plus maze test (EPMT), novelty suppressed feeding test (NSFT) and open field test (OFT). UCM765 at the dose of 10mg/kg showed anxiolytic-like properties by increasing the time spent in the open arm of the EPMT, and by reducing the latency to eat in a novel environment in the NSFT. In the EPMT, animals treated with UCM765 (10mg/kg) or MLT (20mg/kg) spent more time in the open arms compared to vehicle-treated animals, but to a lesser extent compared to DZ (1mg/kg). In the NSFT, all treatments similarly decreased the latency to eat in a novel environment compared to vehicle. UCM765 and MLT did not affect the total time and the number of entries into the central area of the OFT, but unlike DZ, did not impair locomotion. The anxiolytic effects of UCM765 and MLT in the EPMT and the NSFT were blocked using a pre-treatment with the MT(1)/MT(2) antagonist luzindole (10mg/kg) or the MT(2) antagonist 4P-PDOT (10mg/kg). These results demonstrated, for the first time, the anxiolytic properties of UCM765 and suggest that MT(2)-receptors may be considered a novel target for the development of anxiolytic drugs.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 07/2012; 39(2):318-25. DOI:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2012.07.003 · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An efficient, one-pot reductive alkylation of indoles with N-protected aminoethyl acetals in the presence of TES/TFA is reported. It represents the first general method for the direct synthesis of tryptamine derivatives from indoles and nitrogen-functionalized acetals. This convergent and versatile approach employs safe and inexpensive reagents, proceeds under mild conditions, and tolerates several functional groups. The new procedure was efficiently applied to a gram-scale synthesis of both luzindole, a reference MT2-selective melatonin receptor antagonist, and melatonin.
    The Journal of Organic Chemistry 06/2012; 77(14):6351-7. DOI:10.1021/jo3010028 · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melatonin activates two brain G-protein coupled receptors, MT(1) and MT(2), whose differential roles in the sleep-wake cycle remain to be defined. The novel MT(2) receptor partial agonist, N-{2-[(3-methoxyphenyl) phenylamino] ethyl} acetamide (UCM765), is here shown to selectively promote non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREMS) in rats and mice. The enhancement of NREMS by UCM765 is nullified by the pharmacological blockade or genetic deletion of MT(2) receptors. MT(2), but not MT(1), knock-out mice show a decrease in NREMS compared to the wild strain. Immunohistochemical labeling reveals that MT(2) receptors are localized in sleep-related brain regions, and notably the reticular thalamic nucleus (Rt). Microinfusion of UCM765 in the Rt promotes NREMS, and its systemic administration induces an increase in firing and rhythmic burst activity of Rt neurons, which is blocked by the MT(2) antagonist 4-phenyl-2-propionamidotetralin. Since developing hypnotics that increase NREMS without altering sleep architecture remains a medical challenge, MT(2) receptors may represent a novel target for the treatment of sleep disorders.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 12/2011; 31(50):18439-52. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2676-11.2011 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An efficient and practical approach for the synthesis of all four stereoisomers of the MT(2) melatonin receptor ligand 4-phenyl-2-propionamidotetralin (4-P-PDOT), each in enantiomerically pure form (ee > 99.9%), was developed. The strategy involved an optical resolution procedure of the key precursor (±)-4-phenyl-2-tetralone with the unusual resolving agent (S)-mandelamide, through the formation of four dihydronaphtalene-spiro-oxazolidin-4-one diastereomers. Interestingly, NMR experimental observations in combination with geometric calculations, provided unambiguous configuration assignments of all stereocenters of the key spiro stereoisomers. Cleavage of each single spiro diastereomer under acidic conditions gave enantiopure (R)- or (S)-4-phenyl-2-tetralone, which were then converted to each 4-P-PDOT single enantiomer by using stereoselective reactions.
    Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 11/2011; 10(2):305-13. DOI:10.1039/c1ob06369c · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: New derivatives of 4-phenyl-2-propionamidotetralin (4-P-PDOT) were prepared and tested on cloned MT1 and MT2 receptors, with the purpose of merging previously reported pharmacophores for nonselective agonists and for MT2-selective antagonists. A 8-methoxy group increases binding affinity of both (±)-cis- and (±)-trans-4-P-PDOT, and it can be bioisosterically replaced by a bromine. Conformational analysis of 8-methoxy-4-P-PDOT by molecular dynamics, supported by NMR data, revealed an energetically favored conformation for the (2S,4S)-cis isomer and a less favorable conformation for the (2R,4S)-trans one, fulfilling the requirements of a pharmacophore model for nonselective melatonin receptor agonists. A new superposition model, including features characteristic of MT2-selective antagonists, suggests that MT1/MT2 agonists and MT2 antagonists can share the same arrangement for their pharmacophoric elements. The model correctly predicted the eutomers of (±)-cis- and (±)-trans-4-P-PDOT. The model was validated by preparing three dihydronaphthalene derivatives, either able or not able to reproduce the putative active conformation of 4-P-PDOT.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 11/2011; 54(24):8362-72. DOI:10.1021/jm200790v · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the synthesis, binding properties and intrinsic activity at MT(1) and MT(2) melatonin receptors of new dimeric melatonin receptor ligands in which two units of the monomeric agonist N-{2-[(3-methoxyphenyl)methylamino]ethyl}acetamide (1) are linked together through different anchor points. Dimerization of compound 1 through the methoxy substituent leads to a substantial improvement in selectivity for the MT(1) receptor, and to a partial agonist behavior. Compound 3a, with a trimethylene linker, was the most selective for the MT(1) subtype (112-fold selectivity) and compound 3d, characterized by a hexamethylene spacer, had the highest MT(1) binding affinity (pK(iMT1)=8.47) and 54-fold MT(1)-selectivity. Dimerization through the aniline nitrogen of 1 abolished MT(1) selectivity, leading to compounds with either a full agonist or an antagonist behavior depending on the nature of the linker.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 08/2011; 19(16):4910-6. DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2011.06.063 · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A new, robust, and reliable method has been developed for the selective reductive N-alkylation of primary and secondary aromatic amines with some functionalized acetals using TFA/Et(3)SiH as a reagent combination. A variety of unsymmetrically substituted ethylenediamines can be synthesized in a one-pot procedure in excellent yields at room temperature. This new procedure offers significant advantages over previous synthetic approaches, including brevity, mild reaction conditions, excellent yields, and high functional group tolerance.
    The Journal of Organic Chemistry 04/2011; 76(2):704-7. DOI:10.1021/jo102109f · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ChemInform is a weekly Abstracting Service, delivering concise information at a glance that was extracted from about 100 leading journals. To access a ChemInform Abstract of an article which was published elsewhere, please select a “Full Text” option. The original article is trackable via the “References” option.
    ChemInform 11/2010; 28(45). DOI:10.1002/chin.199745128
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    ABSTRACT: The circadian nature of melatonin (MLT) secretion, coupled with the localization of MLT receptors to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, has led to numerous studies of the role of MLT in modulation of the sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythms in humans. Although much more needs to be understood about the various functions exerted by MLT and its mechanisms of action, three therapeutic agents (ramelteon, prolonged-release MLT, and agomelatine) are already in use, and MLT receptor agonists are now appearing as new promising treatment options for sleep and circadian-rhythm related disorders. In this review, emphasis has been placed on medicinal chemistry strategies leading to MLT receptor agonists, and on the evidence supporting therapeutic efficacy of compounds undergoing clinical evaluation. A wide range of clinical trials demonstrated that ramelteon, prolonged-release MLT and tasimelteon have sleep-promoting effects, providing an important treatment option for insomnia and transient insomnia, even if the improvements of sleep maintenance appear moderate. Well-documented effects of agomelatine suggest that this MLT agonist offers an attractive alternative for the treatment of depression, combining efficacy with a favorable side effect profile. Despite a large number of high affinity nonselective MLT receptor agonists, only limited data on MT₁ or MT₂ subtype-selective compounds are available up to now. Administration of the MT₂-selective agonist IIK7 to rats has proved to decrease NREM sleep onset latency, suggesting that MT₂ receptor subtype is involved in the acute sleep-promoting action of MLT; rigorous clinical studies are needed to demonstrate this hypothesis. Further clinical candidates based on selective activation of MT₁ or MT₂ receptors are expected in coming years.
    CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics 10/2010; 17(6):733-41. DOI:10.1111/j.1755-5949.2010.00197.x · 3.78 Impact Factor
  • ChemInform 09/2010; 23(38):no-no. DOI:10.1002/chin.199238145

Publication Stats

597 Citations
175.06 Total Impact Points


  • 1992–2014
    • Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo"
      • • Department of Biomolecular Science
      • • Istituto di Chimica Farmaceutica
      Urbino, The Marches, Italy
  • 2008
    • Università degli studi di Parma
      • Department of Pharmacy
      Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 2004
    • University of Milan
      • Department of Pharmacology, Chemotherapy and Medical Toxicology
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2000
    • University of Udine
      • Department of Medical and Biological Sciences
      Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy