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J Med Chem. 2009 Mar 26;52(6):1530-9. doi: 10.1021/jm8010993.

Dual inhibitors of phosphodiesterase-4 and serotonin reuptake.

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Human BioMolecular Research Institute, 5310 Eastgate Mall, San Diego, California 92121, USA.


A new class of multitarget compounds was synthesized by linking a novel selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) to a PDE4 inhibitor. The new dual PDE4 inhibitor/SSRI showed antidepressant-like activity in the forced swim test in mice The SSRIs 2-{5-[3-(5-fluoro-2-methoxy-phenyl)-ethyl]-tetrahydro-furan-2-yl}-ethylamine (14) and 2-{5-[3-(5-fluoro-2-methoxy-phenyl)-propyl]-tetrahydro-furan-2-yl}-ethylamine (15) were both individually linked to the PDE4 inhibitor 4-(3,4-dimethoxy-phenyl)-4a,5,8,8a-tetrahydro-2H-phthalazin-1-one (19), via a five-carbon chain. The dual PDE4 inhibitor/SSRI 2-{5-[3-(5-fluoro-2-methoxy-phenyl)-ethyl]-tetrahydro-furan-2-yl}-ethylamine)-pentyl]-4,5,8,8a-tetrahydro-2H-phthalazin-1-one (21) showed potent and selective serotonin reuptake inhibition (IC(50) value of 127 nM). The dual PDE4 inhibitor/SSRI 21 also inhibited PDE4D3 with a K(i) value of 2.0 nM. The dual PDE4 inhibitor/SSRI was significantly more effective than the individual SSRI alone or fluoxetine in the forced swim test at standard doses. On a molar basis, the antidepressant-like effect of the dual PDE4 inhibitor/SSRI 21 showed a 129-fold increase in in vivo efficacy compared to fluoxetine.

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