American Chemical Society
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Discovery of 1‑(Hetero)aryl-β-carboline Derivatives as IDO1/TDO Dual Inhibitors with Antidepressant Activity

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posted on 2022-08-08, 05:20 authored by Yu Zhang, Yingchun Li, Xiang Chen, Xuan Chen, Chao Chen, Li Wang, Xu Dong, Guoli Wang, Ruxin Gu, Fei Li, Feng Han, Dongyin Chen
Depression is the leading cause of global burden of disease and disability. Abnormalities in the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan degradation have been closely linked to the pathogenesis of depression. An integrative bioinformatics analysis demonstrated that indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) are potential targets for the development of antidepressants. A series of 1-(hetero)­aryl-β-carboline derivatives were designed, synthesized, and evaluated as novel IDO1/TDO dual inhibitors. Among them, compound 28 displayed potent inhibition of both IDO1 (IC50 = 3.53 μM) and TDO (IC50 = 1.15 μM) and had an acceptable safety profile and pharmacokinetic properties. Compound 28 also rescued lipopolysaccharide-induced depressive-like behavior in mice. Further studies revealed that 28 likely had unique antidepressant mechanisms involving suppressing microglial activation, lowering IDO1 expression, and reducing proinflammatory cytokine and kynurenine levels in the mouse brain. Overall, this work provides practical guidance for the development of IDO1/TDO dual inhibitors to treat inflammation-induced depression.