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Bioorg Med Chem. 2006 Jun 15;14(12):4193-207. Epub 2006 Feb 17.

Prodrugs of 3-(3,4-dichlorobenzyloxy)-2-amino-6-fluorobicyclo[3.1.0]hexane-2,6-dicarboxylic acid (MGS0039): a potent and orally active group II mGluR antagonist with antidepressant-like potential.

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Medicinal Research Laboratories, Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, 1-403 Saitama-shi, Saitama 331-9530, Japan.


3-(3,4-Dichlorobenzyloxy)-2-amino-6-fluorobicyclo[3.1.0]hexane-2,6-dicarboxylic acid 5 (MGS0039) is a highly selective and potent group II metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) antagonist (antagonist activities for mGluR2; IC50=20.0 nM, mGluR3; IC50=24.0 nM) and is detected in both plasma (492 ng/mL) and brain (13.2 ng/g) at oral administration of 10 ng/mL [J. Med. Chem.2004, 47, 4750], but the oral bioavailability of 5 was 10.9%. In order to improve the oral bioavailability of 5, prodrugs of 5 were discovered by esterification of carboxyl group on C6-position of bicyclo[3.1.0]hexane ring. Among these compounds, 6-alkyl esters exhibited approximately 10-fold higher concentrations of 5 in the plasma and brain of rats after oral administration (e.g., ethyl ester of 5; plasma, Cmax=20.7+/-1.3 microM) compared to oral administration of 5 (plasma, Cmax=2.46+/-0.62 microM). 3-(3,4-Dichlorobenzyloxy)-2-amino-6-fluorobicyclo[3.1.0]hexane-2,6-dicarboxylic acid 6-heptyl ester (7ao), a prodrug of MGS0039, showed antidepressant-like effects in rat forced swimming test and mouse tail suspension test following oral administration. Moreover, following oral administration of 7ao in mice, high concentrations of MGS0039 were detected in both the brain and plasma, while 7ao was barely detected. In this paper, we report the synthesis, in vitro metabolic stabilities, and pharmacokinetic profiles of the prodrugs of 5, and the antidepressant-like effects of 7ao.

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