A small library of novel fluorinated N-benzamide enaminones were synthesized and evaluated in a battery of acute preclinical seizure models. Three compounds (GSA 62, TTA 35, and WWB 67) were found to have good anticonvulsant activity in the 6-Hz 'psychomotor' 44-mA rodent model. The focus of this study was to elucidate the active analogs' mode of action on seizure-related molecular targets. Electrophysiology studies were employed to evaluate the compounds' ability to inhibit neuronal activity in central olfactory neurons, mitral cells, and sensory-like ND7/23 cells, which express an assortment of voltage and ligand-gated ion channels. We did not find any significant effects of the three compounds on action potential generation in mitral cells. The treatment of ND7/23 cells with 50 µM of GSA 62, TTA 35, and WWB 67 generated a significant reduction in the amplitude of whole-cell sodium currents. Similar treatment of ND7/23 cells with these compounds had no effect on T-type calcium currents, indicating that fluorinated N-benzamide enaminone analogs may have a selective effect on voltage-gated sodium channels, but not calcium channels.
Keywords: GABA; anticonvulsant; brain; calcium channel; drug discovery; electrophysiology; enaminones; epilepsy; neuron; sodium channel.