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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2004 Jul;310(1):25-32. Epub 2004 Feb 26.

AS601245 (1,3-benzothiazol-2-yl (2-[[2-(3-pyridinyl) ethyl] amino]-4 pyrimidinyl) acetonitrile): a c-Jun NH2-terminal protein kinase inhibitor with neuroprotective properties.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Serono Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Geneva, Switzerland.


Recent evidence suggests that activation of the c-Jun NH2-terminal protein kinase (JNK) signal transduction pathway may play a role in ischemia-induced cell death. Thus, preventing the activation of JNK, or c-Jun phosphorylation could be neuroprotective. In the current study, we report that a small molecule, AS601245 (1,3-benzothiazol-2-yl (2-[[2-(3-pyridinyl) ethyl] amino]-4 pyrimidinyl) acetonitrile), which has been shown to inhibit the JNK signaling pathway, promotes cell survival after cerebral ischemia. In vivo, AS601245 (40, 60, and 80 mg/kg) administered i.p. provided significant protection against the delayed loss of hippocampal CA1 neurons in a gerbil model of transient global ischemia. This effect is mediated by JNK inhibition and therefore by c-Jun expression and phosphorylation. A significant neuroprotective effect of AS601245 administered either by i.p. injection (6, 18, and 60 mg/kg) or as i.v. bolus (1 mg/kg) followed by an i.v. infusion (0.6 mg/kg/h) was also observed in rats after focal cerebral ischemia. These data suggest that the use of JNK inhibitors such as AS601245 may be a relevant strategy in the therapy of ischemic insults.

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