[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression, a common neurological condition, is one of the leading causes of disability and suicide worldwide. Standard treatment, targeting monoamine transporters selective for the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline, is not able to help many patients that are poor responders. This study advances the development of sazetidine-A analogues that interact with α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) as partial agonists and that possess favorable antidepressant profiles. The resulting compounds that are highly selective for the α4β2 subtype of nAChR over α3β4-nAChRs are partial agonists at the α4β2 subtype and have excellent antidepressant behavioral profiles as measured by the mouse forced swim test. Preliminary absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity (ADMET) studies for one promising ligand revealed an excellent plasma protein binding (PPB) profile, low CYP450-related metabolism, and low cardiovascular toxicity, suggesting it is a promising lead as well as a drug candidate to be advanced through the drug discovery pipeline.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to advance therapeutic applications of nicotinic ligands, continuing research efforts are being directed toward the identification and characterization of novel nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligands that are both potent and subtype selective. Herein we report the synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of members of a new series of 3-alkoxy-5-aminopyridine derivatives that display good selectivity for the α4β2-nAChR subtype based on ligand binding and functional evaluations. The most potent ligand in this series, compound 64, showed high radioligand binding affinity and selectivity for rat α4β2-nAChR with a K(i) value of 1.2 nM and 4700-fold selectivity for α4β2- over α3β4-nAChR, and ∼100-fold selectivity for functional, high-sensitivity, human α4β2-nAChR over α3β4*-nAChR. In the mouse forced swim test, compound 64 exhibited antidepressant-like effects. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) analyses suggest that the introduction of additional substituents to the amino group present on the pyridine ring of the N-demethylated analogue of compound 17 can provide potent α4β2-nAChR-selective ligands for possible use in treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders including depression.