We report the in vitro assessment of pharmacotoxicity for the high-affinity GHB receptor ligand, NCS-382, using neuronal stem cells derived from mice with a targeted deletion of the aldehyde dehydrogenase 5a1 gene (succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase(SSADH)-deficient mice). These animals represent a phenocopy of the human disorder of GABA metabolism, SSADH deficiency, that metabolically features accumulation of both GABA and the GABA-analog γ-hydroxybutyric acid in conjunction with a nonspecific neurological phenotype. We demonstrate for the first time using MDCK cells that NCS-382 is actively transported and capable of inhibiting GHB transport. Following these in vitro assays with in vivo studies in aldh5a1-/- mice, we found the ratio of brain/liver GHB to be unaffected by chronic NCS-382 administration (300mg/kg; 7 consecutive days). Employing a variety of cellular parameters (reactive oxygen and superoxide species, ATP production and decay, mitochondrial and lysosomal number, cellular viability and necrosis), we demonstrate that up to 1mM NCS-382 shows minimal evidence of pharmacotoxicity. As well, studies at the molecular level indicate that the effects of NCS-382 at 0.5mM are minimally toxic as evaluated using gene expression assay. The cumulative data provides increasing confidence that NCS-382 could eventually be considered in the therapeutic armament for heritable SSADH deficiency.
Keywords: GABA metabolism; NCS-382; Neuronal stem cells; SSADH deficiency (SSADHD); Succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH); γ-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).
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