Effect of scopoletin on monoamine oxidases and brain amines

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Naturally, occurring compounds with MAO inhibitory property may provide promising lead molecules against neurodegenerative disorders. We report MAO inhibitory activity of a naturally occurring coumarin (validated chemical scaffold as MAO inhibitors), scopoletin. It selectively (and reversibly) inhibits human (Ki = 20.7 μM) and mouse (Ki = 22 μM) MAO-B, ˜3.5 times more selective towards MAO-B than MAO-A. Docking studies revealed its molecular recognition and explained the selectivity mechanism towards MAO isoforms. Scopoletin occupied the hydrophobic aromatic pockets showing favorable interactions for MAO-B; experimental Ki agreed with the predicted Ki. In vivo, scopoletin (80 mg/kg, i.p.) treatment significantly increases dopamine level and decreases its metabolite DOPAC in striatum. Overall, scopoletin is a partially selective MAO-B inhibitor that increases brain dopamine level.

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