We report the discovery of 6,7-dimethoxy-4-(pyridin-3-yl)cinnolines as novel inhibitors of phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A). Systematic examination and analyses of structure-activity-relationships resulted in single digit nM potency against PDE10A. X-ray co-crystal structure revealed the mode of binding in the enzyme's catalytic domain and the source of selectivity against other PDEs. High in vivo clearance in rats was addressed with the help of metabolite identification (ID) studies. These findings combined resulted in compound 39, a promising potent inhibitor of PDE10A with good in vivo metabolic stability in rats and efficacy in a rodent behavioral model.
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