Design of new cognition enhancers: from computer prediction to synthesis and biological evaluation

J Med Chem. 2004 May 20;47(11):2870-6. doi: 10.1021/jm031086k.


To discover new cognition enhancers, a set of virtually designed synthesizable compounds from different chemical series was investigated using two computer-aided approaches. One of the approaches is prediction of biological activity spectra for substances (PASS) and the second is prediction of toxicity, mutagenicity, and carcinogenicity (DEREK). To increase the probability of finding new chemical entities, we investigated a heterogeneous set of highly diverse chemicals including different types of heterocycles: five-membered (thiophenes, thiazoles, imidazoles, oxazoles, pyrroles), six-membered (pyridines, pyrimidines), seven-membered (diazepines, triazepines), fused five+six-membered heterocycles (indoles, benzothiazoles, purines, indolizines, neutral, mesoionic, and cationic azolopyridines). A database including 5494 structures of compounds was created. On the basis of the PASS and DEREK prediction results, eight compounds with the highest probability of cognition-enhancing effect were selected. The cognition-enhancing activity testing showed that all of the selected compounds had a pronounced antiamnesic effect and were found to reduce significantly scopolamine-induced amnesia of passive avoidance reflex (PAR). The action of compounds at doses of 1 and 10 mg/kg caused a statistically significant increase in latent time of reflex and in the number of animals, which did not enter the dark chamber when testing the PAR. Therefore, on the basis of computer prediction, new cognition-enhancing agents were discovered within the chemical series, in which this activity was not known previously.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amnesia / chemically induced
  • Amnesia / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Drug Design
  • Male
  • Nootropic Agents / chemical synthesis
  • Nootropic Agents / chemistry*
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology
  • Oxazoles / chemical synthesis
  • Oxazoles / chemistry*
  • Oxazoles / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Scopolamine
  • Thiazoles / chemical synthesis
  • Thiazoles / chemistry*
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Oxazoles
  • Thiazoles
  • Scopolamine