Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases, with between 34 and 76 per 100,000 people developing epilepsy annually. Epilepsy therapy for the past 100+ years is based on the use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Despite the availability of more than twenty old and new AEDs, approximately 30% of patients with epilepsy are not seizure-free with the existing medications. In addition, the clinical use of the existing AEDs is restricted by their side-effects, including the teratogenicity associated with valproic acid that restricts its use in women of child-bearing age. Thus, there is an unmet clinical need to develop new, effective AEDs. In the present study, a novel class of carbamates incorporating phenethyl or branched aliphatic chains with 6-9 carbons in their side-chain, and 4-benzenesulfonamide-carbamate moieties were synthesized and evaluated for their anticonvulsant activity, teratogenicity and carbonic anhydrase (CA) inhibition. Three of the ten newly synthesized carbamates showed anticonvulsant activity in the maximal-electroshock (MES) and 6 Hz tests in rodents. In mice, 3-methyl-2-propylpentyl(4-sulfamoylphenyl)carbamate(1), 3-methyl-pentan-2-yl-(4-sulfamoylphenyl)carbamate (9) and 3-methylpentyl, (4-sulfamoylphenyl)carbamate (10) had ED50 values of 136, 31 and 14 mg/kg (MES) and 74, 53, and 80 mg/kg (6 Hz), respectively. Compound (10) had rat-MES-ED50 = 13 mg/kg and ED50 of 59 mg/kg at the mouse-corneal-kindling test. These potent carbamates (1,9,10) induced neural tube defects only at doses markedly exceeding their anticonvuslnat-ED50 values. None of these compounds were potent inhibitors of CA IV, but inhibited CA isoforms I, II and VII. The anticonvulsant properties of these compounds and particularly compound 10 make them potential candidates for further evaluation and development as new AEDs.
Keywords: 4-Aminobenzensulfonamides; Carbonic anhydrase inhibition; New antiepileptic drugs; Teratogenicity; Valproic acid.