Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Pharmacol. 1997 Aug;121(8):1803-9.

Catecholamine modulatory effects of nepicastat (RS-25560-197), a novel, potent and selective inhibitor of dopamine-beta-hydroxylase.

Author information

Center for Biological Research, Roche Bioscience, Palo Alto, CA-94304, USA.


1. Inhibitory modulation of sympathetic nerve function may have a favourable impact on the progression of congestive heart failure. Nepicastat is a novel inhibitor of dopamine-beta-hydroxylase, the enzyme which catalyses the conversion of dopamine to noradrenaline in sympathetic nerves. The in vitro pharmacology and in vivo catecholamine modulatory effects of nepicastat were investigated in the present study. 2. Nepicastat produced concentration-dependent inhibition of bovine (IC50 = 8.5 +/- 0.8 nM) and human (IC50 = 9.0 +/- 0.8 nM) dopamine-beta-hydroxylase. The corresponding R-enantiomer (RS-25560-198) was approximately 2-3 fold less potent than nepicastat. Nepicastat had negligible affinity (> 10 microM) for twelve other enzymes and thirteen neurotransmitter receptors. 3. Administration of nepicastat to spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) (three consecutive doses of either 3, 10, 30 or 100 mg kg-1, p.o.; 12 h apart) or beagle dogs (0.05, 0.5, 1.5 or 5 mg kg-1, p.o.; b.i.d., for 5 days) produced dose-dependent decreases in noradrenaline content, increases in dopamine content and increases in dopamine/noradrenaline ratio in the artery (mesenteric or renal), left ventricle and cerebral cortex. At the highest dose studied, the decreases in tissue noadrenaline were 47%, 35% and 42% (in SHRs) and 88%, 91% and 96% (in dogs) in the artery, left ventricle and cerebral cortex, respectively. When tested at 30 mg kg-1, p.o., in SHRs, nepicastat produced significantly greater changes in noradrenaline and dopamine content, as compared to the R-enantiomer (RS-25560-198), in the mesenteric artery and left ventricle. 4. Administration of nepicastat (2 mg kg-1, b.i.d, p.o.) to beagle dogs for 15 days produced significant decreases in plasma concentrations of noradrenaline and increases in plasma concentrations of dopamine and dopamine/noradrenaline ratio. The peak reduction (52%) in plasma concentration of noradrenaline and the peak increase (646%) in plasma concentration of dopamine were observed on day-6 and day-7 of dosing, respectively. 5. The findings of this study suggest that nepicastat is a potent, selective and orally active inhibitor of dopamine-beta-hydroxylase which produces gradual modulation of the sympathetic nervous system by inhibiting the biosynthesis of noradrenaline. This drug may, therefore, be of value in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders associated with over-activation of the sympathetic nervous system, such as congestive heart failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center