Bifunctional drug derivatives of MAO-B inhibitor rasagiline and iron chelator VK-28 as a more effective approach to treatment of brain ageing and ageing neurodegenerative diseases

Mech Ageing Dev. 2005 Feb;126(2):317-26. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2004.08.023.


Degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons and cholinergic cortical neurones are the main pathological features of Parkinson's disease (PD) and for the cognitive deficit in dementia of the Alzheimer' type (AD) and in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), respectively. Many PD and DLB subjects have dementia and depression resulting from possible degeneration of cholinergic and noradrenergic and serotonergic neurons. On the other hand, AD patients may also develop extrapyramidal features as well as depression. In both PD and AD there is, respectively, accumulation of iron within the melanin containing dopamine neurons of pars compacta and with in the plaques and tangle. It has been suggested that iron accumulation may contribute to the oxidative stress induced apoptosis reported in both diseases. This may result from increased glia hydrogen peroxide producing monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity that can generate of reactive hydroxyl radical formed from interaction of iron and hydrogen peroxide. We have therefore prepared a series of novel bifunctional drugs from the neuroprotective-antiapoptotic antiparkinson monoamine oxidase B inhibitor, rasagiline, by introducing a carbamate cholinesterase (ChE) inhibitory moiety into it. Ladostigil (TV-3326, N-propargyl-3R-aminoindan-5yl)-ethyl methylcarbamate), has both ChE and MAO-AB inhibitory activity, as potential treatment of AD and DLB or PD subjects with dementia Being a brain selective MAO-AB inhibitor it has limited potentiation of the pressor response to oral tyramine and exhibits antidepressant activity similar to classical non-selective MAO inhibitor antidepressants by increasing brain serotonin and noradrenaline. Ladostigil inhibits brain acetyl and butyrylcholinesterase in rats and antagonizes scopolamine-induced inhibition of spatial learning. Ladostigil like MAO-B inhibitor it prevents MPTP Parkinsonism in mice model and retains the in vitro and in vivo neuroprotective activity of rasagiline. Ladostigil, rasagiline and other propargylamines have been demonstrated to have neuroprotective activity in several in vitro and in vivo models, which have been shown be associated with propargylamines moiety, since propargylamines itself possess these properties. The mechanism of neuroprotective activity has been attributed to the ability of propargylamines-inducing the antiapoptotic family proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl, while decreasing Bad and Bax and preventing opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pore. Iron accumulates in brain regions associated with neurodegenerative diseases of PD, AD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Huntington disease. It is thought to be involved in Fenton chemistry oxidative stress observed in these diseases. The neuroprotective activity of propargylamines led us to develop several novel bifunctional iron chelator from our prototype brain permeable iron chelators, VK-28, possessing propargylamine moiety (HLA-20, M30 and M30A) to iron out iron from the brain. These compounds have been shown to have iron chelating and monoamine oxidase A and B selective brain inhibitory and neuroprotective-antiapoptotic actions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Chelating Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Cholinesterases / metabolism
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free / pharmacology
  • Dementia / drug therapy*
  • Dementia / pathology
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Indans / chemistry
  • Indans / pharmacology*
  • Iron / chemistry
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Lewy Bodies / drug effects
  • Lewy Bodies / metabolism
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Models, Chemical
  • Monoamine Oxidase / metabolism
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Piperazines / chemistry
  • Piperazines / pharmacology*
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Quinolines / chemistry
  • Quinolines / pharmacology*


  • (N-propargyl-(3R) aminoindan-5-yl)-ethyl methyl carbamate
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Chelating Agents
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Indans
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • Piperazines
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Quinolines
  • rasagiline
  • Iron
  • Monoamine Oxidase
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Cholinesterases
  • Dopamine