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Anxiolytic-like Effects of N,N-Dialkyl-2-phenylindol-3-ylglyoxylamides by Modulation of Translocator Protein Promoting Neurosteroid Biosynthesis

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journal contribution
posted on 25.09.2008, 00:00 by Federico Da Settimo, Francesca Simorini, Sabrina Taliani, Concettina La Motta, Anna Maria Marini, Silvia Salerno, Marusca Bellandi, Ettore Novellino, Giovanni Greco, Barbara Cosimelli, Eleonora Da Pozzo, Barbara Costa, Nicola Simola, Micaela Morelli, Claudia Martini
Novel N,N-disubstituted indol-3-ylglyoxylamides (156), bearing different combinations of substituents R1−R5, were synthesized and evaluated as ligands of the translocator protein (TSPO), the 18 kDa protein representing the minimal functional unit of the “peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor” (PBR). Most of the new compounds showed a nanomolar/subnanomolar affinity for TSPO and stimulated steroid biosynthesis in rat C6 glioma cells with a potency similar to or higher than that of classic TSPO ligands such as PK 11195. Moreover, when evaluated in vivo by means of the elevated-plus-maze (EPM) paradigm in the rat, compound 32, the best-performing derivative in terms of TSPO affinity and pregnenolone production, showed clear anxiolytic effects. The results of this study suggested that the novel N,N-disubstituted indol-3-ylglyoxylamides may represent a promising class of compounds potentially suited for the treatment of anxiety disorders.

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