Synthesis of Novel Benzazole Derivatives and Evaluation of Their Antidepressant-Like Activities with Possible Underlying Mechanisms

Molecules. 2018 Nov 5;23(11):2881. doi: 10.3390/molecules23112881.


Novel benzazole derivative compounds 4a4h were obtained by the reaction of corresponding 2-(benzazol-2-ylthio)acetohydrazide and appropriate 4-substituted benzaldehydes. The chemical structures of the synthesized compounds were elucidated by FT-IR, ¹H-NMR, 13C-NMR and LCMS spectroscopic methods. Antidepressant-like effects of the compounds were evaluated by tail suspension test (TST) and modified forced swimming tests (MFST). Moreover, locomotor activities of the animals were assessed by an activity cage apparatus. In the series, compounds 4a, 4b, 4e and 4f (at 50 mg/kg) significantly decreased the immobility time of mice in both of the TST and MFST. The same compounds prolonged the swimming time of animals in MFST without any change in the climbing duration. These data indicated that compounds 4a, 4b, 4e and 4f possess significant antidepressant-like activities. Moreover, pre-treatments with p-chloro-phenylalanine methyl ester (an inhibitor of serotonin synthesis), NAN-190 (a 5-HT1A antagonist), ketanserin (a 5-HT2A/2C antagonist), and ondansetron (a 5-HT₃ antagonist) reversed the exhibited pharmacological effects. Results of the mechanistic studies suggested the involvement of serotonergic system and contributions of 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A/2C and 5-HT₃ receptors to the antidepressant-like effects of compounds 4a, 4b, 4e and 4f. Furthermore, unchanged locomotor activity of mice following the administrations of these four derivatives confirmed that the presented antidepressant-like effects are specific.

Keywords: activity cage test; antidepressant; benzazole; modified forced swimming test; tail suspension test.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / chemical synthesis*
  • Antidepressive Agents / chemistry
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Chemistry Techniques, Synthetic
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Imidazoles / chemical synthesis*
  • Imidazoles / chemistry
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Imidazoles