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Rational Design, Synthesis, and Pharmacological Characterization of Novel Ghrelin Receptor Inverse Agonists as Potential Treatment against Obesity-Related Metabolic Diseases

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posted on 28.09.2018, 00:00 authored by Antoine Daina, Claudio Giuliano, Claudio Pietra, Junbo Wang, Yushi Chi, Zack Zou, Fugang Li, Zhonghua Yan, Yifan Zhou, Angelo Guainazzi, Silvina Garcia Rubio, Vincent Zoete
A new chemotype of ghrelin inverse agonists was discovered through chimeric design based on molecular scaffolds known as growth-hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR) modulators but with divergent pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties. The structure–activities/properties exploration led to compound 47, which displayed potent human GHSR antagonism and inverse agonism in cellular assays (IC50 = 68 nM, EC50 = 29 nM), moderate oral bioavailability, and notable brain penetration in rat (F = 27%, B/P ratio = 1.9). First in vivo studies demonstrated effective reduction of food intake after oral or parenteral administration to mouse (78% at 1 h and 38% at 8 h, respectively). Further preclinical studies are needed to evaluate the most suited mode of administration with the aim of promoting a first central-acting ghrelin inverse agonist molecule to development, which would represent a significant step toward therapeutic agents to treat metabolic disorders related to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus.