The serotonin 5-HT6 receptor (5- HT6R) is amongst the recently discovered serotonergic
receptors with almost exclusive localization in the brain. Hence, this receptor is fast emerging as a
promising target for cognition enhancement in central nervous system (CNS) diseases such as
Alzheimer’s disease (cognitive function), obesity, schizophrenia and anxiety. The last decade has seen
a surge of literature reports on the functional role of this receptor in learning and memory processes
and investigations related to the chemistry and pharmacology of 5-HT6 receptor ligands, especially 5-
HT6 receptor antagonists. Studies show the involvement of multiple neurotransmitter systems in
cognitive enhancement by 5-HT6R antagonists including cholinergic, glutamatergic, and GABAergic systems. Several of
the 5-HT6R ligands are indole based agents bearing structural similarity to the endogenous neurotransmitter serotonin.
Based on the pharmacophoric models proposed for these agents, drug designing has been carried out incorporating various
heterocyclic replacements for the indole nucleus. In this review, we have broadly summarized the medicinal chemistry
and current status of this fairly recent class of drugs along with their potential therapeutic applications.
Keywords: 5-HT6 antagonists, Alzheimer’s disease, Antiobesity agents, Cognition enhancers, Indole derivatives, Memory,
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