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Cough. 2012 Oct 1;8(1):7. doi: 10.1186/1745-9974-8-7.

Antitussive effects of the peripherally restricted GABAB receptor agonist lesogaberan in guinea pigs: comparison to baclofen and other GABAB receptor-selective agonists.

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Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center, 5501 Hopkins Bayview Circle, Baltimore, Maryland, 21224, USA.



Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common cause of chronic cough. Both acid and nonacid reflux is thought to play a role in the initiation of coughing and cough hypersensitivity. The GABAB receptor agonist lesogaberan was developed as a peripherally restricted anti-reflux therapy that reduces the frequency of transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations (TLESR; the major cause of reflux) in animals and in patients with GERD. GABAB receptor agonists have also been shown to possess antitussive effects in patients and in animals independent of their effects on TLESR, suggesting that lesogaberan may be a promising treatment for chronic cough.


We have assessed the direct antitussive effects of lesogaberan (AZD3355). The effects of other GABAB receptor agonists were also determined. Coughing was evoked in awake guinea pigs using aerosol challenges with citric acid.


Lesogaberan dose-dependently inhibited citric acid evoked coughing in guinea pigs. Comparable effects of the GABAB receptor agonists baclofen and 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid (3-APPiA) on cough were also observed. Baclofen produced obvious signs of sedation and respiratory depression. By contrast, both lesogaberan and 3-APPiA (both inactivated centrally by GABA transporters) were devoid of sedative effects and did not alter respiratory rate.


Together, the data suggest that lesogaberan and related GABAB receptor agonists may hold promise as safe and effective antitussive agents largely devoid of CNS side effects.

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