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J Med Chem. 2001 Oct 11;44(21):3469-87.

Selective inhibition of ICAM-1 and E-selectin expression in human endothelial cells. 2. Aryl modifications of 4-(aryloxy)thieno[2,3-c]pyridines with fine-tuning at C-2 carbamides.

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Metabolic Diseases Research, Pharmaceutical Products Division, Abbott Laboratories, Department 04MJ, Building AP10, 100 Abbott Park Road, Abbott Park, Illinois 60064-6101, USA.


The elevated expression of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) on the lumenal surface of vascular endothelial cells is a critical early event in the complex inflammatory process. The adhesive interactions of these CAMs that include E-selectin, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1 with their counter-receptors on leukocytes, such as integrins of the alpha(L)beta(2) family, result in migration of the leukocytes to the site of inflammation and cause tissue injury. Pharmaceutical agents that could suppress the induced expression of one or more of these cell adhesion molecules would provide a novel mechanism to attenuate the inflammatory responses associated with chronic inflammatory diseases. A-205804 (1), a potent and selective inhibitor of the induced expression of E-selectin and ICAM-1 over VCAM-1, was further modified with emphasis at the C-4 and C-2 positions to identify a more potent drug candidate with a good pharmacokinetic profile and physical properties. Replacement of the C-4 sulfur linkage in 1 with an oxygen atom eliminated one of the two major metabolites for this lead molecule. The para-position of the 4-phenoxy group of the thieno[2,3-c]pyridine lead is found to be very critical for a higher in vitro potency and selectivity of E-selectin and ICAM-1 over VCAM-1 expression. This position is presumably close to the solvent-accessible region of the target protein-inhibitor complex. An attempt to install a water-solubilizing group at the para-position of the phenoxy group to increase the aqueous solubility of this lead series through various linkages failed to provide an ideal inhibitor. Only small substituents such as fluorine are tolerated at the meta- and ortho-positions of the 4-phenoxy to retain a good in vitro potency. Bromo, trifluoromethyl, pyrazol-1-yl, and imidazol-1-yl are among the better substituents at the para-position. With fine-tuning at the C-2 position we discovered a series of very potent (IC(50) < 5 nM for ICAM-1) and selective (>200-fold vs VCAM-1) inhibitors with a good pharmacokinetic profile. Demonstrated efficacy in a rat rheumatoid arthritis model and in a mice asthma model with selected compounds is also reported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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