The synthesis of a new family of benzyl derivatives of 2,1,3-benzo- and benzothieno[3,2-a]thiadiazine 2,2-dioxides was achieved. The biological data revealed the first heterocyclic family of compounds with PDE 7 inhibitory properties appearing to be a new objective for the treatment of T-cell-dependent disorders. The IC(50) values or percent inhibition values of the compounds against PDE 7 were calculated by testing them against human recombinant PDE 7 expressed in S. cerevisiae. In this expression system the only cyclic nucleotide hydrolyzing activity present in cell extracts corresponded to human PDE 7. Isoenzyme selectivity PDE 7 versus PDE 4 and PDE 3 was also measured. Considering simultaneously inhibition of the three different isoenzymes, monobenzyl derivatives 15 and 23 showed interesting PDE 7 potency (around 10 microM); although not statistically significant, a trend toward selectivity with respect to PDE 3 and PDE 4 was obtained. Benzothiadiazine 16, although less potent at PDE 7 (IC(50) = 25 microM), also showed a trend of selectivity toward PDE 3 and PDE 4. These compounds are considered the best leads for further optimization.