Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Endocannabinoid Degradation Enzyme Inhibitors as Potential Antipsychotics: A Medicinal Chemistry Perspective

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a very important role in numerous physiological and pharmacological processes, such as those related to the central nervous system (CNS), including learning, memory, emotional processing, as well pain control, inflammatory and immune response, and as a biomarker in certain psychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, the half-life of the natural ligands responsible for these effects is very short. This perspective describes the potential role of the inhibitors of the enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL), which are mainly responsible for the degradation of endogenous ligands in psychic disorders and related pathologies. The examination was carried out considering both the impact that the classical exogenous ligands such as ?-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and (-)-trans-cannabidiol (CBD) have on the ECS and through an analysis focused on the possibility of predicting the potential toxicity of the inhibitors before they are subjected to clinical studies. In particular, cardiotoxicity (hERG liability), probably the worst early adverse reaction studied during clinical studies focused on acute toxicity, was predicted, and some of the most used and robust metrics available were considered to select which of the analyzed compounds could be repositioned as possible oral antipsychotics.

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Mangiatordi, Giuseppe Felice; Cavalluzzi, Maria Maddalena; Delre, Pietro; Lamanna, Giuseppe; Lumuscio, Maria Cristina; Saviano, Michele; Majoral, Jean Pierre; Mignani, Serge; Duranti, Andrea; Lentini, Giovanni