Glycine/NMDA Receptor Antagonists as Potential CNS Therapeutic Agents: ACEA-1021 and Related Compounds

Author(s): Sui X. Cai

Journal Name: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 6 , Issue 7 , 2006

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Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter in central nervous system (CNS) and NMDA receptors are one of the major classes of ionotropic glutamate receptors. NMDA receptors have been known to play critical roles in normal CNS activities, as well as in many pathological conditions, including both acute and chronic diseases. The discovery of glycine as a coagonist of NMDA receptors has led to intensive research of glycine/NMDA antagonists as potential CNS drugs. The robust efficacy of glycine/NMDA antagonists, such as ACEA-1021 (5), in animal model of brain ischemia, together with good safety profile in animal models and in clinical trials, suggested that this class of NMDA antagonists should have good chance of success in the clinic as neuroprotectants. The clinical trial of ACEA-1021 for stroke was discontinued, mainly due to low solubility and lack of metabolism of the drug that led to the observation of crystals in the urine of some of the patients. However, through SAR studies, compounds such as ACEA-1416 (10) have been identified with improved properties, such as higher in vivo potency and site for potential metabolism. Therefore these compounds should be able to overcome some of the liabilities of ACEA-1021 and potentially could be developed as neuroprotectants. Based on the preclinical and clinical studies of glycine/NMDA antagonists, as well as the clinical experiences with t-PA, initiation of treatment within a short time window after the onset of stroke could be critical for the success of these antagonists in clinical trials. This can be accomplished by implementing the procedure developed for t- PA clinical trials, with modification based on the safety profile of glycine/NMDA antagonists, for future clinical trial to administer the drug as soon as possible after stroke onset. In addition, glycine/NMDA antagonists also have other potential therapeutic applications, such as for the treatment of traumatic brain injury, pain, cocaine overdose and convulsions.

Keywords: NMDA receptors, CNS drugs, 6,7-dinitro-QX (DNQX), Xenopus Oocytes, Benzazepine derivatives, GV150526

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Article Details

Year: 2006
Page: [651 - 662]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/156802606776894465
Price: $65

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