The anxioselective agent 7-(2-chloropyridin-4-yl)pyrazolo-[1,5-a]-pyrimidin-3-yl](pyridin-2-yl)methanone (DOV 51892) is more efficacious than diazepam at enhancing GABA-gated currents at alpha1 subunit-containing GABAA receptors.
Studies using mice with point mutations of GABA(A) receptor alpha subunits suggest that the sedative and anxiolytic properties of 1,4-benzodiazepines are mediated, respectively, by GABA(A) receptors bearing the alpha(1) and alpha(2) subunits. This hypothesis predicts that a compound with high efficacy at GABA(A) receptors containing the alpha(1) subunit would produce sedation, whereas an agonist acting at alpha(2) subunit-containing receptors (with low or null efficacy at alpha(1)-containing receptors) would be anxioselective. Electrophysiological studies using recombinant GABA(A) receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes indicate that maximal potentiation of GABA-stimulated currents by the pyrazolo-[1,5-a]-pyrimidine, DOV 51892, at alpha(1)beta(2)gamma(2S) constructs of the GABA(A) receptor was significantly higher (148%) than diazepam. In contrast, DOV 51892 was considerably less efficacious and/or potent than diazepam in enhancing GABA-stimulated currents mediated by constructs containing alpha(2), alpha(3), or alpha(5) subunits. In vivo, DOV 51892 increased punished responding in the Vogel conflict test, an effect blocked by flumazenil, and increased the percentage of time spent in the open arms of the elevated plus-maze. However, DOV 51892 had no consistent effects on motor function or muscle relaxation at doses more than 1 order of magnitude greater than the minimal effective anxiolytic dose. Although the mutant mouse data predict that the high-efficacy potentiation of GABA(A1a) receptor-mediated currents by DOV 51892 would be sedating, behavioral studies demonstrate that DOV 51892 is anxioselective, indicating that GABA potentiation mediated by alpha(1) subunit-containing GABA(A) receptors may be neither the sole mechanism nor highly predictive of the sedative properties of benzodiazepine recognition site modulators.
PubMed ID: 16971504
Article link: J Pharmacol Exp Ther.
Genes referenced: gabarap kidins220