A series of compounds have been shown to enhance cognitive function via the dopaminergic system and indeed the search for more active and less toxic compounds is continuing. It was therefore the aim of the study to synthetise and test a novel heterocyclic compound for cognitive enhancement in a paradigm for working memory. Specific and effective dopamine re-uptake inhibition DAT (IC50 = 4,1 ± 0,8 μM) made us test this compound in a radial arm maze (RAM) in the rat.
CE-125 (4-((benzhydrylsulfinyl)methyl)-2-cyclopropylthiazole), was tested for dopamine (DAT), serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibition by a well-established system. The working memory index (WMI) was evaluated in male Sprague Dawley rats that were intraperitoneally injected with CE-125 (1 or 10 mg/kg body weight). In order to evaluate basic neurotoxicity, the open field, elevated plus maze, rota rod studies and the forced swim test were carried out. Frontal cortex was taken at the last day of the RAM test and dopamine receptors D1R and D2R, DAT and phosphorylated DAT protein levels were determined.
On the 10th day both doses were increasing the WMI as compared to the vehicle-treated group. In both, trained and treated groups, D1R levels were significantly reduced while D2R levels were unchanged. DAT levels were comparable between all groups while phosphorylated DAT levels were increased in the trained group treated with 1 mg/kg body weight. CE-125 as a probably non-neurotoxic compound and specific reuptake inhibitor was shown to increase performance (WMI) and modulation of the dopaminergic system is proposed as a possible mechanism of action.