Several 3-carbonyl (1-26), 3-acyl (27-52), and 3-carboxyhydrazido (53-58) coumarins have been synthesized in high yields (72-99%) and tested in vitro for their human monoamine oxidase A and B (hMAO-A and hMAO-B) inhibitory activity. Different substituents on the coumarin nucleus were evaluated for their effect on biological activity and isoform selectivity. Substitution at position C7 of the 3-ethyl ester coumarin ring, or the introduction of a hydrazido substituent at C3, were important to obtain highly potent and selective hMAO-B inhibitors with IC(50) values in the nanomolar range. Some derivatives were also submitted to a stability test and showed no chemical cleavage in vitro.
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