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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1998 Mar;59(3):709-15.

Indan analogs of fenfluramine and norfenfluramine have reduced neurotoxic potential.

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  • 1Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy and Pharmacal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.


N-Ethyl-5-trifluoromethyl-2-aminoindan (ETAI) and 5-trifluoromethyl-2-aminoindan (TAI) were synthesized to examine the effects of side-chain cyclization on the pharmacology of the anorectic drugs fenfluramine (FEN) and norfenfluramine (norFEN), respectively. ETAI and TAI inhibited synaptosomal accumulation of 5-HT but were less effective at inhibiting catecholamine uptake than FEN or norFEN, respectively. In vivo, ETAI and TAI were less neurotoxic than FEN or norFEN; decreases in the number of [3H]paroxetine-labeled 5-HT uptake sites were 50% less than the decreases produced by FEN or norFEN. Rats treated with ETAI. TAI, FEN, and norFEN lost 10-15% of their pretreatment body weight over a 4-day period, while saline-treated control animals gained 8%. In two-lever drug discrimination (DD) assays in rats, TAI fully substituted for the 5-HT releaser/uptake inhibitor, (+)-MBDB [(+)-N-methyl-1-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-aminobutane]. ETAI produced only partial substitution in this test. Neither TAI nor ETAI mimicked (+)-amphetamine in the DD assay. These studies demonstrate that incorporation of the side-chain of phenylisopropylamines into the five-membered ring of a 2-aminoindan changes both the molecular pharmacology and the neurotoxic profile of FEN and norFEN, but does not diminish the drugs' ability to reduce body weight.

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