Searching for new anxiolytic agents among derivatives of 11-dialkylaminoethyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydrodiazepino[1,2-a]benzimidazole.

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A study on the anxiolytic activity of the new derivatives of 11-dialkylaminoethyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydrodiazepino[1,2-a]benzimidazole, containing privileged scaffolds of benzodiazepine and benzimidazole in their structure, was conducted. The cytotoxic properties of low levels of six compounds were preliminary determined in vitro using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide test. The screening of these substances for anxiolytic activity was conducted using elevated plus maze (EPM) test in vivo, and DAB-21 was found to be the most active compound. The acute toxicity of DAB-21 was determined as less toxic than that of diazepam. The dose-dependent effect of the most active compound revealed a minimum dose of 1.26 mg/kg, which resulted in the maximum counterphobic effect. The effect of DAB-21 was superior in a number of tests compared with that of diazepam, which indicated a high level of tranquilizing activity for DAB-21. The results of in silico docking analysis suggest that DAB-21 should have a slightly lower anxiolytic activity than diazepam, but should exhibit greater specific affinity for the benzodiazepine site of the GABAA receptor, in comparison with its GABA-binding site. The interaction between DAB-21 and flumazenil in terms of EPM verifies the GABAergic mechanism of action of DAB-21. Our results highlight the potential of 11-dialkylaminomethyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydrodiazepino[1,2-a]benzimidazoles as promising compounds in the search for new highly effective anxiolytics.

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Authors: Dmitriy V Maltsev, Alexander A Spasov, Dmitriy S Yakovlev, Pavel M Vassiliev, Maria O Skripka, Mikhail V Miroshnikov, Kira T Sultanova, Andrey N Kochetkov, Lyudmila N Divaeva, Tatyana A Kuzmenko, Anatolii S Morkovnik