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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1998 Feb;284(2):651-60.

Anxiolytic and side-effect profile of LY354740: a potent, highly selective, orally active agonist for group II metabotropic glutamate receptors.

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  • 1Toxicology Research, Eli Lilly and Company, Greenfield, Indiana 46285, USA.


LY354740 is a conformationally constrained analog of glutamate which is a potent agonist for group II cAMP coupled metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). The discovery of this novel pharmacological agent has allowed the exploration of the functional consequences of activating group II mGluRs in vivo. In an effort to evaluate the clinical utility of LY354740 as an anxiolytic, we examined its effects in the fear potentiated startle and elevated plus maze models of anxiety and compared the results with the clinically prescribed anxiolytic diazepam. In the fear potentiated startle and elevated plus maze models, both LY354740 and diazepam produced significant anxiolytic activity (ED50 values of 0.3 and 0.4 mg/kg p. o. for fear potentiated startle and 0.2 and 0.5 mg/kg for the elevated plus maze, respectively). The duration of pharmacological effect for LY354740 in the efficacy models was 4 to 8 hr. In contrast to diazepam, acute administration of LY354740 did not produce sedation, cause deficits in neuromuscular coordination, interact with central nervous system depressants, produce memory impairment or change convulsive thresholds at doses 100- to 1000-fold the efficacious doses in animal models of anxiety. Thus, LY354740 has anxiolytic activity in animal models that are sensitive to benzodiazepines such as diazepam. However, at anxiolytic doses in these models, LY354740 produced none of the unwanted secondary pharmacology associated with diazepam. These data indicate a functional role for group II mGluRs in fear/anxiety responses in animals and suggest that compounds in this class may be beneficial in the treatment of anxiety-related disorders in humans without the side effects seen with currently prescribed medications.

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