From moclobemide to Ro 19-6327 and Ro 41-1049: the development of a new class of reversible, selective MAO-A and MAO-B inhibitors
This study describes the serendipitous discovery of moclobemide, a short-acting MAO-A inhibitor which is in an advanced stage of clinical development as an antidepressant. The short duration of action of this MAO inhibitor containing a morpholine ring moiety is due to the complete reversibility (probably by metabolism of the inhibitory molecular species) of MAO-A inhibition. Since moclobemide is much more effective in vivo than expected from its in vitro activity, investigations to identify a possible metabolite(s) more active as MAO-A inhibitor than the parent compound were carried out. The study of the MAO inhibitory characteristics of several known and putative moclobemide metabolites did not allow the identification of a potent MAO-A inhibitor but led to the discovery of Ro 16-6491, a potent MAO-B inhibitor of novel chemical structure. Systematic chemical modification of the aromatic ring system of Ro 16-6491 finally provided Ro 19-6327 and Ro 41-1049 which are highly selective and reversible inhibitors of MAO-B and MAO-A, respectively. Tritiated derivatives of Ro 19-6327 and Ro 41-1049 were used in binding studies to elucidate their mechanisms of action and to study their cellular distribution by quantitative enzyme radioautography.
KeywordsMonoamine Oxidase Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor Aromatic Ring System Human Frontal Cortex Tyramine Pressor
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