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Lipophilicity plays a major role in modulating the inhibition of monoamine oxidase B by 7-substituted coumarins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

A Carotti, C Altomare, M Catto, C Gnerre, L Summo, A De Marco, S Rose, P Jenner, B Testa

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134 - 149
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

King's Authors


A series of coumarin derivatives (1-22), bearing at the 7-position ether, ketone, ester, carbamate, or amide functions of varying size and lipophilicity, were synthesized and investigated for their in vitro monoamine oxidase-A and -B (MAO-A and -B) inhibitory activities. Most of the compounds acted preferentially as MAO-B inhibitors, with IC50 values in the micromolar to low-nanomolar range. A structure-activity-relationship (SAR) study highlighted lipophilicity as an important property modulating the MAO-B inhibition potency of 7-substituted coumarins, as shown by a linear correlation (n = 20, r(2) = 0.72) between pIC(50) and calculated log P values. ne stability of ester-containing coumarin.) or decrease derivatives in rat plasma provided information on factors that either favor (lipophilicity (steric hindrance) esterase-catalyzed hydrolysis. Two compounds (14 and 22) were selected to investigate how lipophilicity and enzymatic stability may affect in vivo MAO activities, as assayed ex vivo in rat. The most-potent and -selective MAO-B inhibitor 22 (=7-[(3,4-difluorobenzyl)oxy]-3,4-dimethyl-1-benzopyran-2(2H)-one) within the examined series significantly inhibited (> 60%) ex vivo rat-liver and striatal MAO-B activities 1 h after intraperitoneal administration of high doses (100 and 300 mu mol kg(-1)), revealing its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. At the same doses, liver and striatum MAO-A was less inhibited in vivo, somehow reflecting MAO-B selectivity, as assessed in vitro. In contrast, the metabolically less stable derivative 14, bearing an isopropyl ester in the lateral chain, had a weak effect on hepatic MAO-B activity it? vivo, and none on striatal MAO-B, but, surprisingly, displayed inhibitory effects on MAO-A in both peripheral and brain tissues

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