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Donepezil-Based Central Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors by Means of a “Bio-Oxidizable” Prodrug Strategy: Design, Synthesis, and in Vitro Biological Evaluation

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posted on 2017-06-14, 00:00 authored by Ludovic Peauger, Rabah Azzouz, Vincent Gembus, Mihaela-Liliana Ţînţaş, Jana Sopková-de Oliveira Santos, Pierre Bohn, Cyril Papamicaël, Vincent Levacher
With the aim of reducing side effects of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) during symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, we report herein a new class of donepezil-based “bio-oxidizable” prodrugs 1 designed to be converted into dual binding site AChEIs 2. While most of indanone-derived N-benzylpyridinium salts 2 revealed to be highly potent dual binding site hAChEIs (IC50 up to 3 nM), outperforming the standard drug donepezil (IC50 = 11 nM), most of the corresponding 1,4-dihydropyridines 1 were found to be inactive. Promisingly, whereas the selected prodrug 1r showed good permeability in the PAMPA-BBB model and high in vitro antioxidant activity, its conversion to AChEI 2r could be easily achieved under mild conditions when incubated in various oxidizing media. Lastly, both compounds 1r and 2r did not show genotoxicity in vitro and displayed high LD50 values in mice, making this prodrug 1r/drug 2r couple a good candidate for further in vivo biological experiments.

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