Background: Second generation or ‘‘atypical’’ antipsychotics demonstrate an improved therapeutic profile over
conventional neuroleptics. These are effective in both positive and negative symptoms of the disease and have a lower propensity
to induce adverse symptoms.
Objective: Main objective of the research was in silico design and synthesis of potential atypical antipsychotics with combined
antiserotonergic / antidopaminergic effect.
Method: A one pot synthesis of aryl substituted imidazole derivatives was carried out in green solvent PEG-400 and the
prepared compounds were evaluated for atypical antipsychotic activity in animal models for dopaminergic and serotonergic
antagonism. The compounds were designed based on their 3D similarity studies to standard drugs and in silico (docking
studies) with respect to 5-HT2A and D2 receptors.
Results and Discussion: Results from the docking studies with respect to 5-HT2A and D2 receptors suggested a potential
atypical antipsychotic profile for the test compounds. Theoretical ADME profiling of the compounds based on selected
physicochemical parameters suggested an excellent compliance with Lipinski’s rules. The potential of these compounds to
penetrate the blood brain barrier (log BB) was computed through an online software program and the values obtained for the
compounds suggested a good potential for brain permeation. Reversal of apomorphine induced mesh climbing behaviour
coupled with inactivity in the stereotypy assay indicates antidopaminergic effect and a potential atypical profile for the test
compounds 1-5. Further, activity of compounds in DOI assay indicated a 5-HT2 antagonistic profile (5-HT2 antagonism).
Conclusion: Compound 5 emerged as important lead compound showing combined antidopaminergic and antiserotonergic
(5-HT2A) activity with potential atypical antipsychotic profile.