Indole-2-carboxylates, novel antagonists of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-associated glycine recognition sites: In vivo characterization

T. S. Rao, N. M. Gray, M. S. Dappen, J. A. Cler, S. J. Mick, M. R. Emmett, S. Iyengar, J. B. Monahan, A. A. Cordi, P. L. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent in vitro receptor binding studies have indicated that indole-2-carboxylates with halogen substitutions at the position 5 or 6 are potent competitive antagonists of the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate)-associated strychnine-insensitive glycine receptor (Gray N.M., Dappen M.S., Cheng B.K., Cordi A. A., Biesterfeldt J. P., Hood W. F. and Monahan J. B. (1992) J. med. Chem. 34: 1283-1292; Hood W. F., Gray N. M., Dappen M. S., Watson G. B., Compton R. P., Cordi A. A., Lanthorn T. H. and Monahon J. B. (1992) J. Pharmac. exp. Ther. 262: 654-660). In the present investigation, a series of indole-2-carboxylates and two putative antagonists of glycine receptor HA-966 (3-amino-1-hydroxypyrrolidin-2-one) and 7-chlorokynurenic acid were examined for their effects on cGMP responses, mediated by the NMDA receptor complex, in vivo. Both SC-49648 (6-chloro-2-carboxyindole-3-acetic acid, intracerebellar injection, i.c.b.) and HA-966 (i.c.b. or intraperitoneal, i.p.) antagonized increases in levels of cyclic GMP in the cerebellum of the mouse, induced by the intracerebellar administration of NMDA and D-serine, agonists of the NMDA and the NMDA-associated glycine recognition sites, respectively. The drugs SC-49648 and 7-chlorokynurenic acid (i.p.) did not affect cGMP responses, suggesting poor bioavailability in brain. Following direct intracerebellar injection, SC-49648 was eliminated with a half-life of 12 min from the brain. Following intraperitoneal administration, SC-50132, the 3-ethylester analog of SC-49648, was eliminated from the brain with a half-life of 35 min and was found to be metabolized to SC-49648, in vivo. Some lipophilic analogs of SC-49648, designed as its prodrugs, were minimally active as glycine antagonists, in vitro. Following intraperitoneal administration, some of the prodrugs were active at reversing both harmaline- and D-serine-induced increases in cerebellar levels of cGMP in the mouse, indicating biotransformation to and/or improved bioavailability over SC-49648. These studies indicate that indole-2-carboxylates, examined in the present investigation, represent novel, potent and parenterally available competitive glycine receptor antagonists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Indole-2-carboxylates
  • cerebellar cGMP
  • glycine receptor antagonists
  • mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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