Neuroservice new publication on pharmacological tools to study NMDA Receptors

Neuroservice new publication on pharmacological tools to study NMDA Receptors

MPX-004 and MPX-007: New Pharmacological Tools to Study the Physiology of NMDA Receptors Containing the GluN2A Subunit

MNEMOSYNE has developed new compounds (MPX-004 and MPX-007) that selectively inhibit GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors which are implicated in many CNS disorders.

These compound open new pharmacological strategies to address diseases such as autism, schizophrenia, childhood epilepsy and Rett Syndrome.

The pharmacological activity of these compounds has been documented by NEUROSERVICE with MEA recordings of hippocampal slices.


GluN2A is the most abundant of the GluN2 NMDA receptor subunits in the mammalian CNS. Physiological and genetic evidence implicate GluN2A-containing receptors in susceptibility to autism, schizophrenia, childhood epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders such as Rett Syndrome. However, GluN2A-selective pharmacological probes to explore the therapeutic potential of targeting these receptors have been lacking. Here we disclose a novel series of pyrazine-containing GluN2A antagonists exemplified by MPX-004 (5-(((3-chloro-4-fluorophenyl)sulfonamido)methyl)-N-((2-methylthiazol-5-yl)methyl)pyrazine-2-carboxamide) and MPX-007 (5-(((3-fluoro-4-fluorophenyl)sulfonamido)methyl)-N-((2-methylthiazol-5-yl)methyl)methylpyrazine-2-carboxamide). MPX-004 and MPX-007 inhibit GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors expressed in HEK cells with IC50s of 79 nM and 27 nM, respectively. In contrast, at concentrations that completely inhibited GluN2A activity these compounds have no inhibitory effect on GluN2B or GluN2D receptor-mediated responses in similar HEK cell-based assays. Potency and selectivity were confirmed in electrophysiology assays in Xenopus oocytes expressing GluN2A-D receptor subtypes. Maximal concentrations of MPX-004 and MPX-007 inhibited ~30% of the whole-cell current in rat pyramidal neurons in primary culture and MPX-004 inhibited ~60% of the total NMDA receptor-mediated EPSP in rat hippocampal slices. GluN2A-selectivity at native receptors was confirmed by the finding that MPX-004 had no inhibitory effect on NMDA receptor mediated synaptic currents in cortical slices from GRIN2A knock out mice. Thus, MPX-004 and MPX-007 offer highly selective pharmacological tools to probe GluN2A physiology and involvement in neuropsychiatric and developmental disorders.

The authors: Robert A. Volkmann, Christopher M. Fanger, David R. Anderson, Venkata Ramana Sirivolu, Kathy Paschetto, Earl Gordon, Caterina Virginio, Melanie Gleyzes, Bruno Buisson, Esther Steidl, Susanna B. Mierau, Michela Fagiolini, Frank S. Menniti.

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