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J Med Chem. 1996 Jan 5;39(1):197-206.

Structure-activity relationships in a series of 2(1H)-quinolones bearing different acidic function in the 3-position: 6,7-dichloro-2(1H)-oxoquinoline-3-phosphonic acid, a new potent and selective AMPA/kainate antagonist with neuroprotective properties.

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  • 1Institut de Recherches Servier, Suresnes, France.


Recently, we reported the synthesis of 3-(sulfonylamino)-2(1H)-quinolones, a new series of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA)/kainate and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA)/glycine antagonists. By exploring the structure-activity relationships (SAR) in this series, we were able to identify the 6,7-dinitro derivative 6 as a potent and balanced antagonist at both receptors. Unfortunately, compound 6 was devoid of in vivo activity in mice anticonvulsant testing. To overcome this critical limitation, new compounds bearing various acidic moieties at the 3-position of the quinolone skeleton were synthesized and evaluated. The SAR of these new analogues indicated that not all acidic groups are acceptable at the 3-position: A rank order of potency going from carboxylic approximately phosphonic > tetrazole > mercaptoacetic > hydroxamic >> other heterocyclic acids was defined. In addition, the selectivity between the AMPA/kainate and NMDA/glycine sites is dependent on the nature of the substitution (nitro > chloro for AMPA selectivity), its position (5,7- > 6,7-pattern for glycine selectivity), and the distance between the quinolone moiety and the heteroatom bearing the acidic hydrogen (the longer the distance the more AMPA selective the compound). Among these new AMPA antagonists, we have identified 6,7-dichloro-2(1H)-oxoquinoline-3-phosphonic acid (24c) as a water soluble and selective compound endowed with an appealing pharmacological profile. Compared with the reference AMPA antagonist NBQX, the phosphonic acid 24c is much less potent in vitro but almost equipotent in vivo in the audiogenic seizures model after intraperitoneal administration. Moreover, unlike NBQX, compound 24c is also active after oral administration. In the gerbil global ischemia model, compound 24c shows a neuroprotective effect at 10 mg/kg/ip, equivalent to the reference NBQX.

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