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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Apr 2022 - 29 Apr 2022

Animal Studies

2022 Mar 27

Pharmaceuticals (Basel)



Development of Dibenzothiazepine Derivatives as Multifunctional Compounds for Neuropathic Pain.


Jung Y-H, Kim Y O, Kang K M, Lee H G, Son B, Han X H, Oh E, Kim S, Seo S H, Park J-H, Park K D, Kim W M, Yoon M H, Kim Y-C
Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2022 Mar 27; 15(4).
PMID: 35455404.


Neuropathic pain is a chronic and sometimes intractable condition caused by lesions or diseases of the somatosensory nervous system. Many drugs are available but unfortunately do not provide satisfactory effects in patients, producing limited analgesia and undesirable side effects. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop new pharmaceutical agents to treat neuropathic pain. To date, highly specific agents that modulate a single target, such as receptors or ion channels, never progress to the clinic, which may reflect the diverse etiologies of neuropathic pain seen in the human patient population. Therefore, the development of multifunctional compounds exhibiting two or more pharmacological activities is an attractive strategy for addressing unmet medical needs for the treatment of neuropathic pain. To develop novel multifunctional compounds, key pharmacophores of currently used clinical pain drugs, including pregabalin, fluoxetine and serotonin analogs, were hybridized to the side chain of tianeptine, which has been used as an antidepressant. The biological activities of the hybrid analogs were evaluated at the human transporters of neurotransmitters, including serotonin (hSERT), norepinephrine (hNET) and dopamine (hDAT), as well as mu (μ) and kappa (κ) opioid receptors. The most advanced hybrid of these multifunctional compounds, , exhibited multiple transporter inhibitory activities for the uptake of neurotransmitters with IC values of 70 nM, 154 nM and 2.01 μM at hSERT, hNET and hDAT, respectively. Additionally, compound showed partial agonism (EC = 384 nM) at the μ-opioid receptor with no influence at the κ-opioid receptor. In in vivo pain animal experiments, the multifunctional compound showed significantly reduced allodynia in a spinal nerve ligation (SNL) model by intrathecal administration, indicating that multitargeted strategies in single therapy could considerably benefit patients with multifactorial diseases, such as pain.