The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics

ADX71743, a potent and selective negative allosteric modulator of metabotropic glutamate receptor 7: in vitro and in vivo characterization.

PMID 23257312


Metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGlu(7)) has been suggested to be a promising novel target for treatment of a range of disorders, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, drug abuse, and schizophrenia. Here we characterized a potent and selective mGlu(7) negative allosteric modulator (NAM) (+)-6-(2,4-dimethylphenyl)-2-ethyl-6,7-dihydrobenzo[d]oxazol-4(5H)-one (ADX71743). In vitro, Schild plot analysis and reversibility tests at the target confirmed the NAM properties of the compound and attenuation of L-(+)-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid-induced synaptic depression confirmed activity at the native receptor. The pharmacokinetic analysis of ADX71743 in mice and rats revealed that it is bioavailable after s.c. administration and is brain penetrant (cerebrospinal fluid concentration/total plasma concentration ratio at C(max) = 5.3%). In vivo, ADX71743 (50, 100, 150 mg/kg, s.c.) caused no impairment of locomotor activity in rats and mice or activity on rotarod in mice. ADX71743 had an anxiolytic-like profile in the marble burying and elevated plus maze tests, dose-dependently reducing the number of buried marbles and increasing open arm exploration, respectively. Whereas ADX71743 caused a small reduction in amphetamine-induced hyperactivity in mice, it was inactive in the mouse 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine-induced head twitch and the rat conditioned avoidance response tests. In addition, the compound was inactive in the mouse forced swim test. These data suggest that ADX71743 is a suitable compound to help unravel the physiologic role of mGlu(7) and to better understand its implication in central nervous system diseases. Our in vivo tests using ADX71743, reported here, suggest that pharmacological inhibition of mGlu(7) is a valid approach for developing novel pharmacotherapies to treat anxiety disorders, but may not be suitable for treatment of depression or psychosis.