Hybrid molecules combining GABA-A and serotonin 5-HT6 receptors activity designed to tackle neuroinflammation associated with depression
European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
There is clear evidence that the presence of inflammatory factors and impaired GABA-ergic neurotransmission in depressed patients is associated with poor clinical outcome. We designed hybrid molecules, bearing the GABA molecule assembled with chemical fragments that interact with the serotonin 5-HT6 receptor. Such a combination aimed to curb neuroinflammation, remodel GABA-ergic signaling, and provide antidepressant-like activity. The most promising hybrid 3B exerted nanomolar affinity for 5-HT6 receptors and exerted agonistic properties on GABA-A receptors. Developability studies conferred that 3B exerted favorable drug-like properties and optimal brain penetration. In in vivo studies, 3B exerted robust antidepressant-like activity and proved to be highly effective in reducing levels of oxidative stress markers and the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6. The interesting pharmacological profile of 3B makes it a promising candidate for further development for depression associated with neuroinflammation.