Ian Fraser

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Raritan, New Jersey, United States

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Publications (18)54.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The orexin/hypocretin neuropeptides are produced by a cluster of neurons within the lateral posterior hypothalamus and participate in neuronal regulation by activating their receptors (OX1 and OX2 receptors). The orexin system projects widely through the brain and functions as an interface between multiple regulatory systems including wakefulness, energy balance, stress, reward, and emotion. Recent studies have demonstrated that orexins and glutamate interact at the synaptic level and that orexins facilitate glutamate actions. We tested the hypothesis that orexins modulate glutamate signaling via OX1 receptors by monitoring levels of glutamate in frontal cortex of freely moving mice using enzyme coated biosensors under inhibited OX1 receptor conditions. MK-801, an NMDA receptor antagonist, was administered subcutaneously (0.178 mg/kg) to indirectly disinhibit pyramidal neurons and therefore increase cortical glutamate release. In wild-type mice, pretreatment with the OX1 receptor antagonist GSK-1059865 (10 mg/kg S.C.) which had no effect by itself, significantly attenuated the cortical glutamate release elicited by MK-801. OX1 receptor knockout mice had a blunted glutamate release response to MK-801 and exhibited about half of the glutamate release observed in wild-type mice in agreement with the data obtained with transient blockade of OX1 receptors. These results indicate that pharmacological (transient) or genetic (permanent) inhibition of the OX1 receptor similarly interfere with glutamatergic function in the cortex. Selectively targeting the OX1 receptor with an antagonist may normalize hyperglutamatergic states and thus may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of various psychiatric disorders associated with hyperactive states.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:107.
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    ABSTRACT: An increasing body of evidence suggests that the P2X7 ion channel, in the CNS may play a key role in neuropsychiatry, neurodegeneration and chronic pain. In this study, we characterized JNJ-47965567: a centrally permeable, high-affinity, selective P2X7 antagonist. We have used a combination of in-vitro assays (calcium flux, radioligand binding, electrophysiology, IL-1β release) in both recombinant and native systems. Target engagement of JNJ-47965567 was demonstrated by ex-vivo receptor binding autoradiography and in-vivo blockade of Bz-ATP induced IL-1β release in the rat brain. Finally, the efficacy of JNJ-47965567 was tested in standard models of depression, mania and neuropathic pain. JNJ-47965567 is potent high affinity (pKi 7.9 ± 0.07), selective human P2X7 antagonist, with no significant observed speciation. In native systems, the potency of the compound to attenuate IL-1β release was 6.7 ± 0.07 (human blood), 7.5 ± 0.07 (human monocytes) and 7.1 ± 0.1 (rat microglia). JNJ-47965567 exhibited target engagement in rat brain, with a brain EC50 of 78 ± 19 ng/ml (P2X7 receptor autoradiography) and functional block of Bz-ATP induced IL-1β release. JNJ-47965567 (30 mg/kg) attenuated amphetamine-induced hyperactivity and exhibited modest, yet significant efficacy in the rat model of neuropathic pain. No efficacy was observed in forced swim test. JNJ-47965567 is centrally permeable, high affinity P2X7 antagonist that can be used to probe the role of central P2X7 in rodent models of CNS pathophysiology.
    British Journal of Pharmacology 07/2013; · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In rodents 5-hydroxytryptamine type 7 (5-HT(7)) receptor blockade has been shown to be effective in models of depression and to increase the latency to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and decrease REM duration. In the clinic, the REM sleep reduction observed with many antidepressants may serve as a biomarker. We report here the preclinical and clinical evaluation of a 5-HT(7) receptor antagonist, (3-(4-chlorophenyl)-1,4,5,6,7,8-hexahydro-1-(phenylmethyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d]azepine 2-hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarboxylate) (JNJ-18038683). In rodents, JNJ-18038683 increased the latency to REM sleep and decreased REM duration, and this effect was maintained after repeated administration for 7 days. The compound was effective in the mouse tail suspension test. JNJ-18038683 enhanced serotonin transmission, antidepressant-like behavior, and REM sleep suppression induced by citalopram in rodents. In healthy human volunteers JNJ-18038683 prolonged REM latency and reduced REM sleep duration, demonstrating that the effect of 5-HT(7) blockade on REM sleep translated from rodents to humans. Like in rats, JNJ-18038683 enhanced REM sleep suppression induced by citalopram in humans, although a drug-drug interaction could not be ruled out. In a double-blind, active, and placebo-controlled clinical trial in 225 patients suffering from major depressive disorder, neither treatment with pharmacologically active doses of JNJ-18038683 or escitalopram separated from placebo, indicating a failed study lacking assay sensitivity. Post hoc analyses using an enrichment window strategy, where all the efficacy data from sites with an implausible high placebo response [placebo group Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) < = 12] and from sites with no placebo response (MADRS > = 28) are removed, there was a clinically meaningful difference between JNJ-18038683 and placebo. Further clinical studies are required to characterize the potential antidepressant efficacy of JNJ-18038683.
    Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 05/2012; 342(2):429-40. · 3.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of 5-HT₇ receptor has been demonstrated in various animal models of mood disorders; however its function in cognition remains largely speculative. This study evaluates the effects of SB-269970, a selective 5-HT₇ antagonist, in a translational model of working memory deficit and investigates whether it modulates cortical glutamate and/or dopamine neurotransmission in rats. The effect of SB-269970 was evaluated in the delayed non-matching to position task alone or in combination with MK-801, a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, and, in separate experiments, with scopolamine, a non-selective muscarinic antagonist. SB-269970 (10 mg/kg) significantly reversed the deficits induced by MK-801 (0.1 mg/kg) but augmented the deficit induced by scopolamine (0.06 mg/kg). The ability of SB-269970 to modulate MK-801-induced glutamate and dopamine extracellular levels was separately evaluated using biosensor technology and microdialysis in the prefrontal cortex of freely moving rats. SB-269970 normalized MK-801 -induced glutamate but not dopamine extracellular levels in the prefrontal cortex. Rat plasma and brain concentrations of MK-801 were not affected by co-administration of SB-269970, arguing for a pharmacodynamic rather than a pharmacokinetic mechanism. These results indicate that 5-HT₇ receptor antagonists might reverse cognitive deficits associated with NMDA receptor hypofunction by selectively normalizing glutamatergic neurotransmission.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Orexin-1 receptor antagonists have been shown to block the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse and food. However, whether blockade of orexin-2 receptor has similar effects has not been determined. We have recently described the in vitro and in vivo effects of JNJ-10397049, a selective and brain penetrant orexin-2 receptor antagonist. The goal of these studies was to evaluate whether systemic administration of JNJ-10397049 blocks the rewarding effects of ethanol and reverses ethanol withdrawal in rodents. As a comparison, SB-408124, a selective orexin-1 receptor antagonist, was also evaluated. Rats were trained to orally self-administer ethanol (8% v/v) or saccharin (0.1% v/v) under a fixed-ratio 3 schedule of reinforcement. A separate group of rats received a liquid diet of ethanol (8% v/v) and withdrawal signs were evaluated 4 h after ethanol discontinuation. In addition, ethanol-induced increases in extracellular dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens were tested. In separate experiments, the acquisition, expression, and reinstatement of conditioned place preference (CPP) were evaluated in mice. Our results indicate that JNJ-10397049 (1, 3, and 10 mg/kg, sc) dose-dependently reduced ethanol self-administration without changing saccharin self-administration, dopamine levels, or withdrawal signs in rats. Treatment with JNJ-10397049 (10 mg/kg, sc) attenuated the acquisition, expression, and reinstatement of ethanol CPP and ethanol-induced hyperactivity in mice. Surprisingly, SB-408124 (3, 10 and 30 mg/kg, sc) did not have any effect in these procedures. Collectively, these results indicate, for the first time, that blockade of orexin-2 receptors is effective in reducing the reinforcing effects of ethanol.
    Psychopharmacology 12/2010; 215(1):191-203. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A few recent studies suggest that brain histamine levels and signaling via H(3) receptors play an important role in modulation of alcohol stimulation and reward in rodents. The present study characterized the effects of a novel, selective, and brain penetrant H(3) receptor antagonist (JNJ-39220675) on the reinforcing effects of alcohol in rats. The effect of JNJ-39220675 on alcohol intake and alcohol relapse-like behavior was evaluated in selectively bred alcohol-preferring (P) rats using the standard two-bottle choice method. The compound was also tested on operant alcohol self administration in non-dependent rats and on alcohol-induced ataxia using the rotarod apparatus. In addition, alcohol-induced dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens was tested in freely moving rats. Subcutaneous administration of the selective H(3) receptor antagonist dose-dependently reduced both alcohol intake and preference in alcohol-preferring rats. JNJ-39220675 also reduced alcohol preference in the same strain of rats following a 3-day alcohol deprivation. The compound significantly and dose-dependently reduced alcohol self-administration without changing saccharin self-administration in alcohol non-dependent rats. Furthermore, the compound did not change the ataxic effects of alcohol, alcohol elimination rate, nor alcohol-induced dopamine release in nucleus accumbens. These results indicate that blockade of H(3) receptor should be considered as a new attractive mechanism for the treatment of alcoholism.
    Psychopharmacology 11/2010; 214(4):829-41. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuropeptide S (NPS) is known to produce anxiolytic-like effects and facilitate extinction of conditioned fear. Catecholaminergic neurotransmission in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been suggested to be crucially involved in these brain functions. In the current study, we investigated the effect of NPS on the release of dopamine and serotonin in the mPFC by in vivo microdialysis in rats. Central administration of NPS dose-dependently enhanced extracellular levels of dopamine and its major metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, with maximal effects lasting up to 120 min. In contrast, no effect on serotonergic neurotransmission was detected. Dopamine release in the mPFC has been previously linked to modulation of anxiety states and fear extinction. The present results may thus provide a physiological and anatomical basis for the reported effects of NPS on these behaviors.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 10/2010; 115(2):475-82. · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pre-clinical characterization of novel aryloxypyridine amides that are histamine H(3) receptor antagonists is described. These compounds are high affinity histamine H(3) ligands that penetrate the CNS and occupy the histamine H(3) receptor in rat brain. Several compounds were extensively profiled pre-clinically leading to the identification of two compounds suitable for nomination as development candidates.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters 07/2010; 20(14):4210-4. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pre-clinical characterization of novel substituted pyrrolidines that are high affinity histamine H(3) receptor antagonists is described. These compounds efficiently penetrate the CNS and occupy the histamine H(3) receptor in rat brain following oral administration. One compound, (2S,4R)-1-[2-(4-cyclobutyl-[1,4]diazepane-1-carbonyl)-4-(3-fluoro-phenoxy)-pyrrolidin-1-yl]-ethanone, was extensively profiled and shows promise as a potential clinical candidate.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters 03/2010; 20(9):2755-60. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The lack of potent, selective, brain penetrant Y(2) receptor antagonists has hampered in vivo functional studies of this receptor. Here, we report the in vitro and in vivo characterization of JNJ-31020028 (N-(4-{4-[2-(diethylamino)-2-oxo-1-phenylethyl]piperazin-1-yl}-3-fluorophenyl)-2-pyridin-3-ylbenzamide), a novel Y(2) receptor antagonist. The affinity of JNJ-31020028 was determined by inhibition of the PYY binding to human Y(2) receptors in KAN-Ts cells and rat Y(2) receptors in rat hippocampus. The functional activity was determined by inhibition of PYY-stimulated calcium responses in KAN-Ts cells expressing a chimeric G protein Gqi5 and in the rat vas deferens (a prototypical Y(2) bioassay). Ex vivo receptor occupancy was revealed by receptor autoradiography. JNJ-31020028 was tested in vivo with microdialysis, in anxiety models, and on corticosterone release. JNJ-31020028 bound with high affinity (pIC(50) = 8.07 +/- 0.05, human, and pIC(50) = 8.22 +/- 0.06, rat) and was >100-fold selective versus human Y(1), Y(4), and Y(5) receptors. JNJ-31020028 was demonstrated to be an antagonist (pK(B) = 8.04 +/- 0.13) in functional assays. JNJ-31020028 occupied Y(2) receptor binding sites (approximately 90% at 10 mg/kg) after subcutaneous administration in rats. JNJ-31020028 increased norepinephrine release in the hypothalamus, consistent with the colocalization of norepinephrine and neuropeptide Y. In a variety of anxiety models, JNJ-31020028 was found to be ineffective, although it did block stress-induced elevations in plasma corticosterone, without altering basal levels, and normalized food intake in stressed animals without affecting basal food intake. These results suggest that Y(2) receptors may not be critical for acute behaviors in rodents but may serve modulatory roles that can only be elucidated under specific situational conditions.
    Psychopharmacology 12/2009; 208(2):265-77. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Orexins are peptides produced by lateral hypothalamic neurons that exert a prominent role in the maintenance of wakefulness by activating orexin-1 (OX1R) and orexin-2 (OX2R) receptor located in wake-active structures. Pharmacological blockade of both receptors by the dual OX1/2R antagonist (2R)-2-[(1S)-6,7-dimethoxy-1-{2-[4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]ethyl}-3,4-dihydroisoquinolin-2(1H)-yl]-N-methyl-2-phenylethanamide (almorexant) has been shown to promote sleep in animals and humans during their active period. However, the selective distribution of OX1R and OX2R in distinct neuronal circuits may result in a differential impact of these receptors in sleep-wake modulation. The respective role of OX1R and OX2R on sleep in correlation with monoamine release was evaluated in rats treated with selective antagonists alone or in combination. When administered in either phase of the light/dark cycle, the OX2R antagonist 1-(2,4-dibromophenyl)-3-[(4S,5S)-2,2-dimethyl-4-phenyl-1,3-dioxan-5-yl]urea (JNJ-10397049) decreased the latency for persistent sleep and increased nonrapid eye movement and rapid eye movement sleep time. Almorexant produced less hypnotic activity, whereas the OX1R antagonist 1-(6,8-difluoro-2-methylquinolin-4-yl)-3-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]urea (SB-408124) had no effect. Microdialysis studies showed that either OX2R or OX1/2R antagonism decreased extracellular histamine concentration in the lateral hypothalamus, whereas both OX1R and OX1/2R antagonists increased dopamine release in the prefrontal cortex. Finally, coadministration of the OX1R with the OX2R antagonist greatly attenuated the sleep-promoting effects of the OX2R antagonist. These results indicate that blockade of OX2R is sufficient to initiate and prolong sleep, consistent with the hypothesis of a deactivation of the histaminergic system. In addition, it is suggested that simultaneous inhibition of OX1R attenuates the sleep-promoting effects mediated by selective OX2R blockade, possibly correlated with dopaminergic neurotransmission.
    Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 05/2009; 330(1):142-51. · 3.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Histamine 3 (H(3)) receptors are distributed throughout the brain and regulate histamine as well as the activity of other neurotransmitters including acetylcholine (ACh). Impaired ACh neurotransmission is associated with deficits of cognitive-related functioning in many species including humans. The goal of these studies was to evaluate the behavioral and neurochemical effects of JNJ-10181457, a selective non-imidazole histamine H(3) receptor antagonist, in rats. The pharmacokinetic profile and receptor occupancy of JNJ-10181457 were tested. The efficacy of JNJ-10181457 was evaluated, acutely, in the imetit-induced water licking model, delayed non-matching to position (DNMTP) task and microdialysis studies. In addition, the effects of repeated administration of JNJ-10181457 were evaluated in the reversal learning task. A single administration of JNJ-10181457 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) resulted in significant plasma and brain exposure and maximal H(3) receptor occupancy. In addition, JNJ-10181457 reversed imetit-induced water licking, similarly to thioperamide (10 mg/kg, i.p.). In the DNMTP task, scopolamine (0.06 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly decreased percentage correct responding. These effects were significantly reversed by JNJ-10181457 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) and also by donepezil (1 mg/kg, i.p.), an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, and were associated with normalization of ACh neurotransmission in the cortex. Repeated administration of JNJ-10181457 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly increased percentage correct responding in the reversal learning task. Treatment discontinuation was not associated with rebound effects on cognition. These results indicate that selective blockade of histamine H(3) receptors might have therapeutic utility for the treatment of working memory deficits and learning disorders, especially those in which ACh neurotransmission is compromised.
    Neuropharmacology 05/2009; 56(8):1131-7. · 4.11 Impact Factor
  • European Neuropsychopharmacology - EUR NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOL. 01/2009; 19.
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    ABSTRACT: Triple reuptake inhibitors, which block the serotonin transporter (SERT), norepinephrine transporter (NET) and dopamine transporter (DAT) in the central nervous system have been described as therapeutic alternatives for classical selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, with advantages due to their multiple mechanisms of action. JNJ-7925476 (trans-6-(4-ethynylphenyl)-1,2,3,5,6,10b-hexahydropyrrolo[2,1-a]isoquinoline) is a selective and potent inhibitor of the SERT, NET, and DAT (K(i)=0.9, 17 and 5.2 nM, respectively). Following subcutaneous dosing in rat, JNJ-7925476 was rapidly absorbed into the plasma, and drug concentrations in the brain tracked with those in the plasma but were 7-fold higher. The ED(50) values for JNJ-7925476 occupancy of the SERT, NET, and DAT in rat brain were 0.18, 0.09 and 2.4 mg/kg, respectively. JNJ-7925476 (0.1-10 mg/kg, s.c.) rapidly induced a robust, dose-dependent increase in extracellular serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels in rat cerebral cortex. The compound also showed potent antidepressant-like activity in the mouse tail suspension test (ED(50)=0.3 mg/kg, i.p.). These results demonstrate that JNJ-7925476 is a triple reuptake inhibitor with in-vivo efficacy in biochemical and behavioral models of depression.
    European Journal of Pharmacology 07/2008; 587(1-3):141-6. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wake-promoting agents such as modafinil are used in the clinic as adjuncts to antidepressant therapy in order to alleviate lethargy. The wake-promoting action of histamine H(3) receptor antagonists has been evidenced in numerous animal studies. They may therefore be a viable strategy for use as an antidepressant therapy in conjunction with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. JNJ-28583867 (2-Methyl-4-(4-methylsulfanyl-phenyl)-7-(3-morpholin-4-yl-propoxy)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-isoquinoline) is a selective and potent histamine H(3) receptor antagonist (K(i)=10.6 nM) and inhibitor of the serotonin transporter (SERT) (K(i)=3.7 nM), with 30-fold selectivity for SERT over the dopamine and norepinephrine transporters. After subcutaneous administration, JNJ-28583867 occupied both the histamine H(3) receptor and the SERT in rat brain at low doses (<1 mg/kg). JNJ-28583867 blocked imetit-induced drinking (3-10 mg/kg i.p.), confirming in vivo functional activity at the histamine H(3) receptor and also significantly increased cortical extracellular levels of serotonin at doses of 0.3 mg/kg (s.c.) and higher. Smaller increases in cortical extracellular levels of norepinephrine and dopamine were also observed. JNJ-28583867 (3-30 mg/kg p.o.) showed antidepressant-like activity in the mouse tail suspension test. JNJ-28583867 (1-3 mg/kg s.c.) caused a dose-dependent increase in the time spent awake mirrored by a decrease in NREM. Concomitantly, JNJ-28583867 produced a potent suppression of REM sleep from the dose of 1 mg/kg onwards. JNJ-28583867 has good oral bioavailability in the rat (32%), a half-life of 6.9 h and a C(max) of 260 ng/ml after 10 mg/kg p.o. In summary, JNJ-28583867 is a combined histamine H(3) receptor antagonist-SERT inhibitor with in vivo efficacy in biochemical and behavioral models of depression and wakefulness.
    European Journal of Pharmacology 01/2008; 576(1-3):43-54. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of tetrahydroisoquinolines acting as dual serotonin transporter inhibitor/histamine H(3) antagonists is described. The introduction of polar aromatic spacers as part of the histamine H(3) pharmacophore was explored. A convergent synthesis of the final products allowing late stage introduction of the aromatic side chain was developed. In vitro and in vivo data are discussed.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 11/2007; 17(19):5325-9. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of novel and potent pyrrolidino-tetrahydroisoquinolines with dual histamine H(3) antagonist/serotonin transporter inhibitor activity is described. A highly regio- and diastereoselective synthesis of the pyrrolidino-tetrahydroisoquinoline core involving acid mediated ring-closure of an acetophenone intermediate followed by reduction with NaCNBH(3) was developed. In vitro and in vivo data are discussed.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 06/2007; 17(9):2603-7. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of tetrahydroisoquinolines acting as dual histamine H3/serotonin transporter ligands is described. A highly regio-selective synthesis of the tetrahydroisoquinoline core involving acid mediated ring-closure of an acetophenone intermediate followed by reduction with NaCNBH3 was developed. In vitro and in vivo data are discussed.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 03/2007; 17(3):702-6. · 2.34 Impact Factor