Dual Molecules Targeting 5-HT6 and GABA-A Receptors as a New Approach to Combat Depression Associated with Neuroinflammation
ACS Chemical Neuroscience
While monoaminergic deficits are evident in all depressed patients, nonresponders are characterized by impaired GABA-ergic signaling and the simultaneous presence of the inflammatory component. Pharmacological agents able to curb pathological immune responses and modulate ineffective GABA-ergic neurotransmission are thought to improve therapeutic outcomes in the treatment-resistant subgroup of depressed patients. Here, we report on a set of dually acting molecules designed to simultaneously modulate GABA-A and 5-HT 6 receptor activity. The serotonin 5-HT 6 receptor was chosen as a complementary molecular target, due to its promising antidepressant-like activities reported in animal studies. Within the study we identified that lead molecule 16 showed a desirable receptor profile and physicochemical properties. In pharmacological studies, 16 was able to reduce the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and decrease oxidative stress markers. In animal studies, 16 exerted antidepressant-like activity deriving from a synergic interplay between 5-HT 6 and GABA-A receptors. Altogether, the presented findings point to hybrid 16 as an interesting tool that interacts with pharmacologically relevant targets, matching the pathological dysfunction of depression associated with neuroinflammation.