Novel agonists of benzodiazepine receptors: Design, synthesis, binding assay and pharmacological evaluation of 1,2,4-triazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidinone and 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole derivatives
Sayyed Abbas Tabatabai
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© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Agonists of benzodiazepine (BZD) binding site in GABA receptors are widely used in clinical practice. In spite of their benefits they have several side effects, so synthesis of new agonists of these receptors to get more specific effect and better profile of adverse drug reactions is still continued. Novel BZD agonists were designed based on the pharmacophore/receptor model of BZD binding site of GABA A receptor. Energy minima conformers of the designed compounds and estazolam, a known BZD receptor agonist, were well superimposed in conformational analysis. Docking studies revealed that the carbonyl group of the compound 4c, 3-(2-chlorobenzyl)-5-methyl-2-phenyl-[1,2,4]triazolo[1,5-a] pyrimidin-7(3H)-one, was near the nitrogen moiety of triazole ring of estazolam providing the hydrogen bond acceptor in proper direction in the BDZ-binding site of GABA A receptor model (α1β2T2). The designed compounds were synthesized and their in vitro affinity for the central BZD receptor was determined. Most of the novel compounds had better affinity for the BZD site of action on GABA A receptor complex than diazepam. Finally, the novel compound 4c with the best affinity in radioligand receptor binding assay (K i = 0.42 nM and IC 50 = 0.68 nM) was selected as candidate for in vivo evaluation. This compound showed significant hypnotic activity and weak anticonvulsant effect with no impairment on learning and memory performance in mouse. The pharmacological effects of the compound 4c were antagonized by flumazenil, a BZD antagonist, which confirms the involvement of BZD receptors in the biological effects of the novel ligand.