Affinity of dihydropyrimidone analogues for adenosine A1 and A2A receptors
Katsidzira, Runako Masline
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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is characterised by a reduction of dopamine concentration in the striatum due to degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Currently, first line treatment of PD includes the use of dopamine precursors, dopamine agonists and inhibitors of enzymatic degradation of dopamine, in an effort to restore dopamine levels and/or its effects. However, all these therapeutic strategies are only symptomatic and unfortunately do not slow, stop or reverse the progression of PD. From the discovery of adenosine A2A receptor-dopamine D2 receptor heteromers and the antagonistic interaction between these receptors, the basis of a new therapeutic approach towards the treatment of PD emerged. Adenosine A2A receptor antagonists have been shown to decrease the motor symptoms associated with PD, and are also potentially neuroprotective. The possibility thus exists that the administration of an adenosine A2A antagonist may prevent further neurodegeneration. Furthermore, the antagonism of adenosine A1 receptors has the potential of treating cognitive deficits such as those associated with Alzheimer's disease and PD. Therefore, dual antagonism of adenosine A1 and A2A receptors would be of great benefit since this would potentially treat both the motor as well as the cognitive impairment associated with PD. The affinities (Ki-values between 0.6 mM and 38 mM) of a series of 1,4-dihydropyridine derivatives were previously illustrated for the adenosine A1, A2A and A3 receptor subtypes by Van Rhee and co-workers (1996). These results prompted this pilot study, which aimed to investigate the potential of the structurally related 3,4-dihydropyrimidin-2(1H)-ones (dihydropyrimidones) and 2-amino-1,4-dihydropyrimidines as adenosine A1 and A2A antagonists. In this pilot study, a series of 3,4-dihydropyrimidones and 2-amino-1,4-dihydropyrimidines were synthesised and evaluated as adenosine A1 and A2A antagonists. Since several adenosine A2A antagonists also exhibit MAO inhibitory activity, the MAO-inhibitory activity of selected derivatives was also assessed. A modified Biginelli one pot synthesis was used for the preparation of both series of compounds under solvent free conditions. A mixture of a β-diketone, aldehyde and urea/guanidine hydrochloride was heated for an appropriate time to afford the desired compounds in good yields. MAO-B inhibition studies comprised of a fluorometric assay where kynuramine was used as substrate. A radioligand binding protocol described in literature was employed to investigate the binding of the compounds to the adenosine A2A and A1 receptors. The displacement of N-[3H]ethyladenosin-5’-uronamide ([3H]NECA) from rat striatal membranes and 1,3-[3H]-dipropyl-8-cyclopentylxanthine ([3H]DPCPX) from rat whole brain membranes, was used in the determination of A2A and A1affinity, respectively. The results showed that both 3,4-dihydropyrimidones and 2-amino-1,4-dihydropyrimidines had weak adenosine A2A affinity, with the p-fluorophenyl substituted dihydropyrimidone derivative (1h) in series 1, exhibiting the highest affinity for the adenosine A2A receptor (28.7 μM), followed by the p-chlorophenyl dihydropyrimidine derivative (2c) in series 2 (38.59 μM). Both series showed more promising adenosine A1 receptor affinity in the low micromolar range. The p-bromophenyl substituted derivatives in both series showed the best affinity for the adenosine A1 receptor with Ki-values of 7.39 μM (1b) and 7.9 μM (2b). The pmethoxyphenyl dihydropyrimidone (1d) and p-methylpneyl dihydropyrimidine (2e) derivatives also exhibited reasonable affinity for the adenosine A1 receptor with Ki-values of 8.53 μM and 9.67 μM, respectively. Neither the 3,4-dihydropyrimidones nor the 2-amino-1,4- dihydropyrimidines showed MAO-B inhibitory activity. Comparison of the adenosine A2A affinity of the most potent derivative (1h, Ki = 28.7 μM) from this study with that of the previously synthesised dihydropyridine derivatives (Van Rhee et al., 1996, most potent compound had a Ki = 2.74 mM) reveals that an approximate 100-fold increase in binding affinity for A2A receptors occurred. However, KW6002, a known A2A antagonist, that has already reached clinical trials, has a Ki-value of 7.49 nM. The same trend was observed for adenosine A1 affinity, where the most potent compound (1b) of this study exhibited a Ki-value of 7.39 μM compared to 2.75 mM determined for the most potent dihydropyridine derivatives (Van Rhee et al., 1996). N6-cyclopentyladenosine (CPA), a known adenosine A1 agonist that was used as a reference compound, however had a Kivalue of 10.4 nM. The increase in both adenosine A1 and A2A affinity can most likely be ascribed to the increase in nitrogens in the heterocyclic ring (from a dihydropyridine to a dihydropyrimidine) since similar results were obtained by Gillespie and co-workers in 2009 for a series of pyridine and pyrimidine derivatives. In their case it was found that increasing the number of nitrogens in the heterocyclic ring (from one to two nitrogen atoms for the pyridine and pyrimidine derivatives respectively) increased affinity for the adenosine A2A and adenosine A1 receptor subtypes, while three nitrogen atoms in the ring (triazine derivatives) were associated with decreased affinity. It thus appears that two nitrogen atoms in the ring (pyrimidine) are required for optimum adenosine A1 and A2A receptor affinity. The poor adenosine A2A affinity exhibited by the compounds of this study can probably be attributed to the absence of an aromatic heterocyclic ring. The amino acid, Phe-168 plays a very important role in the binding site of the A2A receptor, where it forms aromatic - - stacking interactions with the heterocyclic aromatic ring systems of known agonists and antagonists. Since the dihydropyrimidine ring in both series of this pilot study was not aromatic, the formation of aromatic - -stacking interactions with Phe-168 is unlikely. In conclusion, the 3,4-dihydropyrimidone and 2-amino-1,4-dihydropyrimidine scaffolds can be used as a lead for the design of novel adenosine A1 and A2A antagonists, although further structural modifications are required before a clinically viable candidate will be available as potential treatment of PD.
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