Orally bioavailable and brain-penetrant pyridazine and pyridine-derived γ-secretase modulators reduced amyloidogenic Aβ peptidesin vivo

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Accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ) in brain is a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ is generated after sequential cleavage of its parental molecule, amyloid precursor protein (APP), by β- and γ-secretases. Inhibition of γ-secretase activity is an effective approach for the reduction of Aβ levels. Since γ-secretase targets many different substrates, selective inhibition of its cleavage of APP is believed to be critical in order to avoid undesirable side effects. γ-Secretase modulator (GSM) shifts the cleavage site on APP and production of amyloidogenic to non-amyloidogenic Aβ fragments. Since GSMs only modulate and do not block cleavage of γ-secretase substrates, they are believed less likely to produce untoward adverse reactions. Here, we report in vivo Aβ-lowering profiles of a pyridazine and a pyridine-derived GSM: GSM-C (Wan et al., 2011a) and GSM-D (Wan et al., 2011b). Both compounds reduced Aβ40 and Aβ42 productions, increased shorter Aβ fragments, and had little effect on Notch signaling (∼100-fold selective). They had excellent oral bioavailability (97.8% for GSM-C, ∼100% for GSM-D) and good brain permeability (free brain to free blood AUC ratio of 0.41 and 1.10 for GSM-C and GSM-D, respectively). Oral administration of these compounds in both acute and sub-chronic conditions reduced Aβ levels in plasma and brain in rats in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Therefore, GSM-C and GSM-D represent two GSMs that are orally bioavailable and brain-permeable. They could serve as excellent tools in the investigation of the role of Aβ peptides in AD pathogenesis.

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