Non-imidazole histamine H3 receptor ligands incorporating antiepileptic moieties

Bassem Sadek, Johannes Stephan Schwed, Dhanasekaran Subramanian, Lilia Weizel, Miriam Walter, Abdu Adem, Holger Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


A small series of histamine H3 receptor (H3R) ligands (1-5) incorporating different antiepileptic structural motifs has been newly synthesized. All compounds exhibited moderate to high in vitro hH3R affinities up to a sub-nanomolar concentration range with pKi values in the range of 6.25-9.62 with varying preferences for this receptor subtype. The compounds (1-5) were further investigated in vivo on anticonvulsant effects against maximum electroshock (MES)-induced and pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-kindled convulsions in rats having phenytoin (PHT) as the reference antiepileptic drug (AED). Surprisingly, animals pretreated with 1 mg/kg, i.p. of 5,5-diphenyl-3-(3-(piperidin-1-yl)propyl)imidazolidine-2,4-dione (4) were only moderately protected and no protection was observed for compounds 1-3 and 5 in three different doses (1 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg/kg i.p.). Compound 4 (1 mg/kg, i.p.) failed to modify PTZ-kindled convulsion. However, a dose of 10 mg/kg significantly reduced convulsions in both models. In contrast, 5,5-diphenyl-3-(4-(3-(piperidin-1-yl)propoxy)benzyl)imidazolidine-2,4-dione (5) (1, 5, and 10 mg/kg, i.p.) showed proconvulsant effects in the MES model with further confirmation of these results in the PTZ model as no protection was observed against convulsion in the doses tested (1 and 10 mg/kg). In addition, compound 4 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly prolonged myoclonic latency time and shortened total convulsion duration when compared to control, PHT or standard H3R inverse agonist/antagonist pitolisant (PIT). Our results showed that H3R pharmacophores could successfully be structurally combined to antiepileptic moieties, especially phenytoin partial structures, maintaining the H3R affinity. However, the new derivatives for multiple-target approaches in epilepsy models are complex and show that pharmacophore elements are not easily pharmacologically combinable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Apr 22 2014


  • Anticonvulsant activity
  • Convulsion
  • Epilepsy
  • GPCR
  • Histamine
  • Pharmacophore elements
  • Phenytoin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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