Publications by authors named "Beatrice Garrone"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Synergistic interaction between trazodone and gabapentin in rodent models of neuropathic pain.

PLoS One 2021 4;16(1):e0244649. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Angelini Pharma S.p.A., Rome, Italy.

Neuropathic pain is a chronic debilitating condition caused by injury or disease of the nerves of the somatosensory system. Although several therapeutic approaches are recommended, none has emerged as an optimal treatment leaving a need for developing more effective therapies. Given the small number of approved drugs and their limited clinical efficacy, combining drugs with different mechanisms of action is frequently used to yield greater efficacy. We demonstrate that the combination of trazodone, a multifunctional drug for the treatment of major depressive disorders, and gabapentin, a GABA analogue approved for neuropathic pain relief, results in a synergistic antinociceptive effect in the mice writhing test. To explore the potential relevance of this finding in chronic neuropathic pain, pharmacodynamic interactions between low doses of trazodone (0.3 mg/kg) and gabapentin (3 mg/kg) were evaluated in the chronic constriction injury (CCI) rat model, measuring the effects of the two drugs both on evoked and spontaneous nociception and on general well being components. Two innate behaviors, burrowing and nest building, were used to assess these aspects. Besides exerting a significant antinociceptive effect on hyperalgesia and on spontaneous pain, combined inactive doses of trazodone and gabapentin restored in CCI rats innate behaviors that are strongly reduced or even abolished during persistent nociception, suggesting that the combination may have an impact also on pain components different from somatosensory perception. Our results support the development of a trazodone and gabapentin low doses combination product for optimal multimodal analgesia treatment.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244649PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7781482PMC
January 2021

Acute Low Dose of Trazodone Recovers Glutamate Release Efficiency and mGlu2/3 Autoreceptor Impairments in the Spinal Cord of Rats Suffering From Chronic Sciatic Ligation.

Front Pharmacol 2020 17;11:1108. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Department of Pharmacy, DIFAR, Pharmacology and Toxicology Section and Center of Excellence for Biomedical Research, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.

We investigated whether chronic sciatic ligation modifies the glutamate release in spinal cord nerve endings (synaptosomes) as well as the expression and the function of presynaptic release-regulating mGlu2/3 autoreceptors and 5-HT heteroreceptors in these particles. Synaptosomes were from the spinal cord of animals suffering from the sciatic ligation that developed on day 6 post-surgery a significant decrease of the force inducing paw-withdrawal in the lesioned paw. The exocytosis of glutamate (quantified as release of preloaded [H]D-aspartate, [H]D-Asp) elicited by a mild depolarizing stimulus (15 mM KCl) was significantly increased in synaptosomes from injured rats when compared to controls (uninjured rats). The mGlu2/3 agonist LY379268 (1000 pM) significantly inhibited the 15 mM KCl-evoked [H]D-Asp overflow from control synaptosomes, but not in terminals isolated from injured animals. Differently, a low concentration (10 nM) of (±) DOI, unable to modify the 15 mM KCl-evoked [H]D-Asp overflow in control spinal cord synaptosomes, significantly reduced the glutamate exocytosis in nerve endings isolated from the injured rats. Acute oral trazodone (TZD, 0.3 mg/kg on day 7 post-surgery) efficiently recovered glutamate exocytosis as well as the efficiency of LY379268 in inhibiting this event in spinal cord synaptosomes from injured animals. The sciatic ligation significantly reduced the expression of mGlu2/3, but not of 5-HT, receptor proteins in spinal cord synaptosomal lysates. Acute TZD recovered this parameter. Our results support the use of 5-HT antagonists for restoring altered spinal cord glutamate plasticity in rats suffering from sciatic ligation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.01108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7379891PMC
July 2020

The mood stabilizing properties of AF3581, a novel potent GSK-3β inhibitor.

Biomed Pharmacother 2020 Aug 26;128:110249. Epub 2020 May 26.

D3 Validation Research Line, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30, 16163, Genova, Italy.

Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) is a serine/threonine protein kinase mediating phosphorylation on serine and threonine amino acid residues of several target molecules. The enzyme is involved in the regulation of many cellular processes and aberrant activity of GSK-3β has been linked to several disease conditions. There is now large evidence on the role of GSK-3β in the pathophysiology of mood disturbances with special regard to bipolar disorders. In the present study we further investigated the role of GSK-3β in bipolar disorders by studying AF3581, the prototype of a novel class of ATP-competitive GSK-3β inhibitors having the common N-[(1- alkylpiperidin-4-yl) methyl]-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide scaffold. Based on previous studies, AF3581 inhibits GSK-3β in the nanomolar range on purified human enzyme and highly selective with respect to other kinases. Current study demonstrates that the compound has efficacy both in the chronic mild stress paradigm of depression (mimicking the down phase of bipolar disorder) and on mice aggressiveness in the resident intruder model (mimicking the up phase). These findings underline the importance of aberrant GSK-3β activity in the development/ maintenance of mood oscillation in this peculiar pathological condition. Moreover, the present work also suggests a therapeutic potential for selective GSK-3 β inhibitors in the management of bipolar disorders patients. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) is a serine/threonine protein kinase mediating phosphorylation on serine and threonine amino acid residues of several target molecules. The enzyme is involved in the regulation of many cellular processes and aberrant activity of GSK-3β has been linked to several disease conditions. There is now large evidence on the role of GSK-3β in the pathophysiology of mood disturbances with special regard to bipolar disorders. In the present study we further investigated the role of GSK-3β in bipolar disorders by studying AF3581, the prototype of a novel class of ATP-competitive GSK-3β inhibitors having the common N-[(1- alkylpiperidin-4-yl) methyl]-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide scaffold. Based on previous studies, AF3581 inhibits GSK-3β in the nanomolar range on purified human enzyme and highly selective with respect to other kinases. Current study demonstrates that the compound has efficacy both in the chronic mild stress paradigm of depression (mimicking the down phase of bipolar disorder) and on mice aggressiveness in the resident intruder model (mimicking the up phase). These findings underline the importance of aberrant GSK-3β activity in the development/ maintenance of mood oscillation in this peculiar pathological condition. Moreover, the present work also suggests a therapeutic potential for selective GSK-3 β inhibitors in the management of bipolar disorders patients. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) is a serine/threonine protein kinase mediating phosphorylation on serine and threonine amino acid residues of several target molecules. The enzyme is involved in the regulation of many cellular processes and aberrant activity of GSK-3β has been linked to several disease conditions. There is now large evidence on the role of GSK-3β in the pathophysiology of mood disturbances with special regard to bipolar disorders. In the present study we further investigated the role of GSK-3β in bipolar disorders by studying AF3581, the prototype of a novel class of ATP-competitive GSK-3β inhibitors having the common N-[(1- alkylpiperidin-4-yl) methyl]-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide scaffold. Based on previous studies, AF3581 inhibits GSK-3β in the nanomolar range on purified human enzymeand highly selective with respect to other kinases. Current study demonstrates that the compound has efficacy both in the chronic mild stress paradigm of depression (mimicking the down phase of bipolar disorder) and on mice aggressiveness in the resident intruder model (mimicking the up phase). These findings underline the importance of aberrant GSK-3β activity in the development/ maintenance of mood oscillation in this peculiar pathological condition. Moreover, the present work also suggests a therapeutic potential for selective GSK-3 β inhibitors in the management of bipolar disorders patients. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) is a serine/threonine protein kinase mediating phosphorylation on serine and threonine amino acid residues of several target molecules. The enzyme is involved in the regulation of many cellular processes and aberrant activity of GSK-3β has been linked to several disease conditions. There is now large evidence on the role of GSK-3β in the pathophysiology of mood disturbances with special regard to bipolar disorders. In the present study we further investigated the role of GSK-3β in bipolar disorders by studying AF3581, the prototype of a novel class of ATP-competitive GSK-3β inhibitors having the common N-[(1- alkylpiperidin-4-yl) methyl]-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide scaffold. Based on previous studies, AF3581 inhibits GSK-3β in the nanomolar range on purified human enzyme and highly selective with respect to other kinases. Current study demonstrates that the compound has efficacy both in the chronic mild stress paradigm of depression (mimicking the down phase of bipolar disorder) and on mice aggressiveness in the resident intruder model (mimicking the up phase). These findings underline the importance of aberrant GSK-3β activity in the development/ maintenance of mood oscillation in this peculiar pathological condition. Moreover, the present work also suggests a therapeutic potential for selective GSK-3 β inhibitors in the management of bipolar disorders patients. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) is a serine/threonine protein kinase mediating phosphorylation on serine and threonine amino acid residues of several target molecules. The enzyme is involved in the regulation of many cellular processes and aberrant activity of GSK-3β has been linked to several disease conditions. There is now large evidence on the role of GSK-3β in the pathophysiology of mood disturbances with special regard to bipolar disorders. In the present study we further investigated the role of GSK-3β in bipolar disorders by studying AF3581, the prototype of a novel class of ATP-competitive GSK-3β inhibitors having the common N-[(1- alkylpiperidin-4-yl) methyl]-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide scaffold. Based on previous studies, AF3581 inhibits GSK-3β in the nanomolar range on purified human enzyme and highly selective with respect to other kinases. Current study demonstrates that the compound has efficacy both in the chronic mild stress paradigm of depression (mimicking the down phase of bipolar disorder) and on mice aggressiveness in the resident intruder model (mimicking the up phase). These findings underline the importance of aberrant GSK-3β activity in the development/ maintenance of mood oscillation in this peculiar pathological condition. Moreover, the present work also suggests a therapeutic potential for selective GSK-3 β inhibitors in the management of bipolar disorders patients. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) is a serine/threonine protein kinase mediating phosphorylation on serine and threonine amino acid residues of several target molecules. The enzyme is involved in the regulation of many cellular processes and aberrant activity of GSK-3β has been linked to several disease conditions. There is now large evidence on the role of GSK-3β in the pathophysiology of mood disturbances with special regard to bipolar disorders. In the present study we further investigated the role of GSK-3β in bipolar disorders by studying AF3581, the prototype of a novel class of ATP-competitive GSK-3β inhibitors having the common N-[(1- alkylpiperidin-4-yl) methyl]-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide scaffold. Based on previous studies, AF3581 inhibits GSK-3β in the nanomolar range on purified human enzyme and highly selective with respect to other kinases. Current study demonstrates that the compound has efficacy both in the chronic mild stress paradigm of depression (mimicking the down phase of bipolar disorder) and on mice aggressiveness in the resident intruder model (mimicking the up phase). These findings underline the importance of aberrant GSK-3β activity in the development/ maintenance of mood oscillation in this peculiar pathological condition. Moreover, the present work also suggests a therapeutic potential for selective GSK-3 β inhibitors in the management of bipolar disorders patients. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) is a serine/threonine protein kinase mediating phosphorylation on serine and threonine amino acid residues of several target molecules. The enzyme is involved in the regulation of many cellular processes and aberrant activity of GSK-3β has been linked to several disease conditions. There is now large evidence on the role of GSK-3β in the pathophysiology of mood disturbances with special regard to bipolar disorders. In the present study we further investigated the role of GSK-3β in bipolar disorders by studying AF3581, the prototype of a novel class of ATP-competitive GSK-3β inhibitors having the common N-[(1- alkylpiperidin-4-yl) methyl]-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide scaffold. Based on previous studies, AF3581 inhibits GSK-3β in the nanomolar range on purified human enzyme and highly selective with respect to other kinases. Current study demonstrates that the compound has efficacy both in the chronic mild stress paradigm of depression (mimicking the down phase of bipolar disorder) and on mice aggressiveness in the resident intruder model (mimicking the up phase). These findings underline the importance of aberrant GSK-3β activity in the development/ maintenance of mood oscillation in this peculiar pathological condition. Moreover, the present work also suggests a therapeutic potential for selective GSK-3 β inhibitors in the management of bipolar disorders patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110249DOI Listing
August 2020

Optimization of Indazole-Based GSK-3 Inhibitors with Mitigated hERG Issue and Activity in a Mood Disorder Model.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2020 May 24;11(5):825-831. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Angelini Pharma S.p.A., Viale Amelia, 70, 00181 Rome, Italy.

Bipolar disorders still represent a global unmet medical need and pose a requirement for novel effective treatments. In this respect, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) aberrant activity has been linked to the pathophysiology of several disease conditions, including mood disorders. Therefore, the development of GSK-3β inhibitors with good efficacy and safety profile associated with high brain exposure is required. Accordingly, we have previously reported the selective indazole-based GSK-3 inhibitor , which showed excellent efficacy in a mouse model of mania. Despite the favorable preclinical profile, analog suffered from activity at the hERG ion channel, which prevented its further progression. Herein, we describe our strategy to improve this off-target liability through modulation of physicochemical properties, such as lipophilicity and basicity. These efforts led to the potent inhibitor , which possessed reduced hERG affinity, promising ADME properties, and was very effective in a mood stabilizer model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.9b00633DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7236279PMC
May 2020

Pharmacological Characterization of the Microsomal Prostaglandin E Synthase-1 Inhibitor AF3485 and .

Front Pharmacol 2020 2;11:374. Epub 2020 Apr 2.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, and Center for Advanced Studies and Technology (CAST), School of Medicine, G. d'Annunzio University, Chieti, Italy.

Rationale: The development of inhibitors of microsomal prostaglandin (PG)E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) was driven by the promise of attaining antiinflammatory agents with a safe cardiovascular profile because of the possible diversion of the accumulated substrate, PGH, towards prostacyclin (PGI).

Objectives: We studied the effect of the human mPGES-1 inhibitor, AF3485 (a benzamide derivative) on prostanoid biosynthesis in human whole blood . To characterize possible off-target effects of the compound, we evaluated: i)the impact of its administration on the systemic biosynthesis of prostanoids in a model of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced monoarthritis in rats; ii) the effects on cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression and the biosynthesis of prostanoids in human monocytes and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) .

Methods: Prostanoids were assessed in different cellular models by immunoassays. The effect of the administration of AF3485 (30 and 100 mg/kg,i.p.) or celecoxib (20mg/kg, i.p.), for 3 days, on the urinary levels of enzymatic metabolites of prostanoids, PGE-M, PGI-M, and TX-M were assessed by LC-MS.

Results: In LPS-stimulated whole blood, AF3485 inhibited PGE biosynthesis, in a concentration-dependent fashion. At 100μM, PGE levels were reduced by 66.06 ± 3.30%, associated with a lower extent of TXB inhibition (40.56 ± 5.77%). AF3485 administration to CFA-treated rats significantly reduced PGE-M (P < 0.01) and TX-M (P < 0.05) similar to the selective COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib. In contrast, AF3485 induced a significant (P < 0.05) increase of urinary PGI-M while it was reduced by celecoxib. In LPS-stimulated human monocytes, AF3485 inhibited PGE biosynthesis with an IC value of 3.03 µM (95% CI:0.5-8.75). At 1μM, AF3485 enhanced TXB while at higher concentrations, the drug caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of TXB. At 100 μM, maximal inhibition of the two prostanoids was associated with the downregulation of COX-2 protein by 86%. These effects did not involve AMPK pathway activation, IkB stabilization, or PPARγ activation. In HUVEC, AF3485 at 100 μM caused a significant (P < 0.05) induction of COX-2 protein associated with enhanced PGI production. These effects were reversed by the PPARγ antagonist GW9662.

Conclusions: The inhibitor of human mPGES-1 AF3485 is a novel antiinflammatory compound which can also modulate COX-2 induction by inflammatory stimuli. The compound also induces endothelial COX-2-dependent PGI production PPARγ activation, both and , which might translate into a protective effect for the cardiovascular system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.00374DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7147323PMC
April 2020

Targeting Serotonin 2A and Adrenergic α Receptors for Ocular Antihypertensive Agents: Discovery of 3,4-Dihydropyrazino[1,2-b]indazol-1(2H)-one Derivatives.

ChemMedChem 2018 08 9;13(15):1597-1607. Epub 2018 Jul 9.

Angelini RR&D (Research, Regulatory & Development), Angelini S.p.A., Piazzale della stazione snc, 00071, S. Palomba-Pomezia (Rome), Italy.

Glaucoma affects millions of people worldwide and causes optic nerve damage and blindness. The elevation of the intraocular pressure (IOP) is the main risk factor associated with this pathology, and decreasing IOP is the key therapeutic target of current pharmacological treatments. As potential ocular hypotensive agents, we studied compounds that act on two receptors (serotonin 2A and adrenergic α ) linked to the regulation of aqueous humour dynamics. Herein we describe the design, synthesis, and pharmacological profiling of a series of novel bicyclic and tricyclic N2-alkyl-indazole-amide derivatives. This study identified a 3,4-dihydropyrazino[1,2-b]indazol-1(2H)-one derivative with potent serotonin 2A receptor antagonism, >100-fold selectivity over other serotonin subtype receptors, and high affinity for the α receptor. Moreover, upon local administration, this compound showed superior ocular hypotensive action in vivo relative to the clinically used reference compound timolol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cmdc.201800199DOI Listing
August 2018

5-HT-mGlu2/3 receptor complex in rat spinal cord glutamatergic nerve endings: A 5-HT to mGlu2/3 signalling to amplify presynaptic mechanism of auto-control of glutamate exocytosis.

Neuropharmacology 2018 05 27;133:429-439. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

Department of Pharmacy, DiFAR, Pharmacology and Toxicology Section, Viale Cembrano 4, 16148, Genoa, Italy; Center of Excellence for Biomedical Research, University of Genoa, Viale Benedetto XV, 16132, Genoa, Italy. Electronic address:

Presynaptic mGlu2/3 autoreceptors exist in rat spinal cord nerve terminals as suggested by the finding that LY379268 inhibited the 15 mM KCl-evoked release of [H]D-aspartate ([H]D-Asp) in a LY341495-sensitive manner. Spinal cord glutamatergic nerve terminals also possess presynaptic release-regulating 5-HT heteroreceptors. Actually, the 15 mM KCl-evoked [H]D-Asp exocytosis from spinal cord synaptosomes was reduced by the 5-HT agonist (±)DOI, an effect reversed by the 5-HT antagonists MDL11,939, MDL100907, ketanserin and trazodone (TZD). We investigated whether mGlu2/3 and 5-HT receptors colocalize and cross-talk in these terminals and if 5-HT ligands modulate the mGlu2/3-mediated control of glutamate exocytosis. Western blot analysis and confocal microscopy highlighted the presence of mGlu2/3 and 5-HT receptor proteins in spinal cord VGLUT1 positive synaptosomes, where mGlu2/3 and 5-HT receptor immunoreactivities largely colocalize. Furthermore, mGlu2/3 immunoprecipitates from spinal cord synaptosomes were also 5-HT immunopositive. Interestingly, the 100 pM LY379268-induced reduction of the 15 mM KCl-evoked [H]D-Asp overflow as well as its inhibition by 100 nM (±)DOI became undetectable when the two agonists were concomitantly added. Conversely, 5-HT antagonists (MDL11,939, MDL100907, ketanserin and TZD) reinforced the release-regulating activity of mGlu2/3 autoreceptors. Increased expression of mGlu2/3 receptor proteins in synaptosomal plasmamembranes paralleled the gain of function of the mGlu2/3 autoreceptors elicited by 5-HT antagonists. Based on these results, we propose that in spinal cord glutamatergic terminals i) mGlu2/3 and 5-HT receptors colocalize and interact one each other in an antagonist-like manner, ii) 5-HT antagonists are indirect positive allosteric modulator of mGlu2/3 autoreceptors controlling glutamate exocytosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.02.030DOI Listing
May 2018

Alpha-tocopheryl succinate inhibits autophagic survival of prostate cancer cells induced by vitamin K3 and ascorbate to trigger cell death.

PLoS One 2012 18;7(12):e52263. Epub 2012 Dec 18.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy.

Background: The redox-silent vitamin E analog α-tocopheryl succinate (α-TOS) was found to synergistically cooperate with vitamin K3 (VK3) plus ascorbic acid (AA) in the induction of cancer cell-selective apoptosis via a caspase-independent pathway. Here we investigated the molecular mechanism(s) underlying cell death induced in prostate cancer cells by α-TOS, VK3 and AA, and the potential use of targeted drug combination in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Methodology/principal Findings: The generation of ROS, cellular response to oxidative stress, and autophagy were investigated in PC3 prostate cancer cells by using drugs at sub-toxic doses. We evaluated whether PARP1-mediated apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) release plays a role in apoptosis induced by the combination of the agents. Next, the effect of the combination of α-TOS, VK3 and AA on tumor growth was examined in nude mice. VK3 plus AA induced early ROS formation associated with induction of autophagy in response to oxidative stress, which was reduced by α-TOS, preventing the formation of autophagosomes. α-TOS induced mitochondrial destabilization leading to the release of AIF. Translocation of AIF from mitochondria to the nucleus, a result of the combinatorial treatment, was mediated by PARP1 activation. The inhibition of AIF as well as of PARP1 efficiently attenuated apoptosis triggered by the drug combination. Using a mouse model of prostate cancer, the combination of α-TOS, VK3 and AA was more efficient in tumor suppression than when the drugs were given separately, without deleterious side effects.

Conclusions/significance: α-TOS, a mitochondria-targeting apoptotic agent, switches at sub-apoptotic doses from autophagy-dependent survival of cancer cells to their demise by promoting the induction of apoptosis. Given the grim prognosis for cancer patients, this finding is of potential clinical relevance.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0052263PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3525640PMC
June 2013

Discovery and pharmacological profile of new 1H-indazole-3-carboxamide and 2H-pyrrolo[3,4-c]quinoline derivatives as selective serotonin 4 receptor ligands.

J Med Chem 2012 Nov 24;55(22):9446-66. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Department of Chemistry, Angelini Santa Palomba Research Center, Piazzale della Stazione snc, 00040 Pomezia, Italy.

Since the discovery of the serotonin 4 receptor (5-HT(4)R), a large number of receptor ligands have been studied. The safety concerns and the lack of market success of these ligands have mainly been attributed to their lack of selectivity. In this study we describe the discovery of N-[(4-piperidinyl)methyl]-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide and 4-[(4-piperidinyl)methoxy]-2H-pyrrolo[3,4-c]quinoline derivatives as new 5-HT(4)R ligands endowed with high selectivity over the serotonin 2A receptor and human ether-a-go-go-related gene potassium ion channel. Within these series, two molecules (11 ab and 12 g) were identified as potent and selective 5-HT(4)R antagonists with good in vitro pharmacokinetic properties. These compounds were evaluated for their antinociceptive action in two analgesia animal models. 12 g showed a significant antinociceptive effect in both models and is proposed as an interesting lead compound as a 5-HT(4)R antagonist with analgesic action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm300573dDOI Listing
November 2012

Targeting monocyte chemotactic protein-1 synthesis with bindarit induces tumor regression in prostate and breast cancer animal models.

Clin Exp Metastasis 2012 Aug 7;29(6):585-601. Epub 2012 Apr 7.

Centro di Ingegneria Genetica, Biotecnologie Avanzate (CEINGE), Via Gaetano Salvatore 486, 80145, Naples, Italy.

Prostate and breast cancer are major causes of death worldwide, mainly due to patient relapse upon disease recurrence through formation of metastases. Chemokines are small proteins with crucial roles in the immune system, and their regulation is finely tuned in early inflammatory responses. They are key molecules during inflammatory processes, and many studies are focusing on their regulatory functions in tumor growth and angiogenesis during metastatic cell seeding and spreading. Bindarit is an anti-inflammatory indazolic derivative that can inhibit the synthesis of MCP-1/CCL2, with a potential inhibitory function in tumor progression and metastasis formation. We show here that in vitro, bindarit can modulate cancer-cell proliferation and migration, mainly through negative regulation of TGF-β and AKT signaling, and it can impair the NF-κB signaling pathway through enhancing the expression of the NF-κB inhibitor IkB-α. In vivo administration of bindarit results in impaired metastatic disease in prostate cancer xenograft mice (PC-3M-Luc2 cells injected intra-cardially) and impairment of local tumorigenesis in syngeneic Balb/c mice injected under the mammary gland with murine breast cancer cells (4T1-Luc cells). In addition, bindarit treatment significantly decreases the infiltration of tumor-associated macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells in 4T1-Luc primary tumors. Overall, our data indicate that bindarit is a good candidate for new therapies against prostate and breast tumorigenesis, with an action through impairment of inflammatory cell responses during formation of the tumor-stroma niche microenvironment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10585-012-9473-5DOI Listing
August 2012

Further studies on arylpiperazinyl alkyl pyridazinones: discovery of an exceptionally potent, orally active, antinociceptive agent in thermally induced pain.

J Med Chem 2009 Dec;52(23):7397-409

Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, via Ugo Schiff 6, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Firenze, Italy.

A number of pyridazinone derivatives bearing an arylpiperazinylalkyl chain were synthesized and tested icv in a model of acute nociception induced by thermal stimuli in mice (tail flick). The most interesting and potent compound in this series was 6a, which showed an ED(50) = 3.5 microg, a value about 3-fold higher with respect to morphine by the same route of administration. When administered per os, 6a was 4-fold more potent than morphine in the same test, suggesting a significant bioavailability. The same compound also showed high potency in the hot plate test. The antinociceptive effect of 6a was completely reversed by pretreatment with yohimbine both in the hot plate test and in the tail flick test. This demonstrated the involvement of the adrenergic system, which was confirmed by in vitro radioligand binding studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm900458rDOI Listing
December 2009

A cortical GABA-5HT interaction in the mechanism of action of the antidepressant trazodone.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2004 Nov;28(7):1117-27

Department of Pharmacology, ACRAF-Angelini Ricerche, 00040 S. Palomba-Pomezia, Rome, Italy.

The aim of the study was to investigate whether the antidepressant trazodone (TRZ), a serotonin-2 receptor antagonist/reuptake inhibitor, modifies gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) extracellular levels in the cerebral cortex, by acting on 5-HT(2A) receptors, and through this mechanism increases 5-HT levels. For this purpose the effect of TRZ on the release of GABA was studied in adult male rats in synaptosomes, cortical slices, and "in vivo" by microdialysis. In cortical slices, the release of both GABA and 5-HT was determined. GABA and 5-HT were identified and their levels quantified by HPLC. The inhibition of 5-HT uptake by TRZ was also measured. In synaptosomes, TRZ antagonized dose-dependently, at concentrations from 10(-10) to 10(-6) M, the increase in GABA release induced by (+/-)DOI, a 5-HT(2A/2C) agonist, and the alpha receptor agonist phenylephrine, both 10(-6) M. The pIC50 values were 8.31+/-0.24, and 5.99+/-0.52, respectively. In the same preparation, [3H]5-HT accumulation was inhibited by citalopram and TRZ with pIC(50) of 7.8+/-0.44 and 5.9+/-0.09, respectively, a finding confirming the weak activity of TRZ in comparison with a SSRI. In cortical slices, TRZ exerted a biphasic effect on GABA release. At concentrations from 10(-10) to 10(-7) M it inhibited and from 10(-6) to 10(-4) M increased GABA release. 5-HT release was enhanced by TRZ throughout the entire range of concentrations tested. However, the increase was delayed after low and rapid after high concentrations. AMI-193, a 5-HT(2A) antagonist (10(-10) to 10(-5) M), reduced GABA release in a dose-response manner, while it induced an increase of 5-HT outflow. On the contrary, (+/-)DOI (10(-10) to 10(-5) M) increased GABA release and inhibited 5-HT levels. Perfusion with the GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline was also followed by an increase in 5-HT release. In microdialysis experiments, TRZ 1.25 mg kg(-1) s.c. brought about a decrease in GABA extracellular levels, while an increase was found after the dose of 2.5 mg kg(-1). These findings demonstrate that TRZ, at concentrations which do not inhibit 5-HT uptake, reduces the cortical GABAergic tone by decreasing GABA extracellular levels, through the blockade of 5-HT(2A) receptors. The attenuation of GABAergic tone is responsible for an increase in 5-HT levels. A further increase also results from 5-HT uptake inhibition caused by higher doses of TRZ. The ensuing high 5-HT levels enhance GABA release, which in turn inhibits 5-HT release.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2004.05.046DOI Listing
November 2004