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Multifactorial diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) should be more efficiently tackled by drugs which hit multiple biological targets involved in their pathogenesis. We have recently developed a new family of huprine-tacrine heterodimers, rationally designed to hit multiple targets involved upstream and downstream in the neurotoxic cascade of AD, namely β-amyloid aggregation and formation as well as acetylcholinesterase catalytic activity. In this study, the aim was to expand the pharmacological profiling of huprine-tacrine heterodimers investigating their effect on muscarinic M(1) receptors as well as their neuroprotective effects against an oxidative insult. Sprague-Dawley rat hippocampus homogenates were used to assess the specific binding of two selected compounds in competition with 1 nM [(3)H]pirenzepine (for M(1) receptors) or 0.8 nM [(3)H]quinuclidinyl benzilate (for M(2) receptors). For neuroprotection studies, SHSY5Y cell cultures were subjected to 250 μM hydrogen peroxide insult with or without preincubation with some huprine-tacrine heterodimers. A low nanomolar affinity and M(1)/M(2) selectivity has been found for the selected compounds. Huprine-tacrine heterodimers are not neurotoxic to SHSY5Y cells at a range of concentrations from 1 to 0.001 μM, and some of them can protect cells from the oxidative damage produced by hydrogen peroxide at concentrations as low as 0.001 μM. Even though it remains to be determined if these compounds act as agonists at M(1) receptors, as it is the case of the parent huprine Y, their low nanomolar M(1) affinity and neuroprotective effects expand their multitarget profile and increase their interest as disease-modifying anti-Alzheimer agents. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Diego Muñoz-Torrero, Marta Pera, Júlia Relat, Míriam Ratia, Carles Galdeano, Elisabet Viayna, Irene Sola, Xavier Formosa, Pelayo Camps, Albert Badia, M Victòria Clos. Expanding the multipotent profile of huprine-tacrine heterodimers as disease-modifying anti-Alzheimer agents. Neuro-degenerative diseases. 2012;10(1-4):96-9

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PMID: 22236498

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