Serotonin 5-HT6 Receptor Ligands and Butyrylcholinesterase Inhibitors Displaying Antioxidant Activity-Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Multifunctional Agents against Alzheimer's Disease

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Aug 21;23(16):9443. doi: 10.3390/ijms23169443.


Neurodegeneration leading to Alzheimer's disease results from a complex interplay of a variety of processes including misfolding and aggregation of amyloid beta and tau proteins, neuroinflammation or oxidative stress. Therefore, to address more than one of these, drug discovery programmes focus on the development of multifunctional ligands, preferably with disease-modifying and symptoms-reducing potential. Following this idea, herein we present the design and synthesis of multifunctional ligands and biological evaluation of their 5-HT6 receptor affinity (radioligand binding assay), cholinesterase inhibitory activity (spectroscopic Ellman's assay), antioxidant activity (ABTS assay) and metal-chelating properties, as well as a preliminary ADMET properties evaluation. Based on the results we selected compound 14 as a well-balanced and potent 5-HT6 receptor ligand (Ki = 22 nM) and human BuChE inhibitor (IC50 = 16 nM) with antioxidant potential expressed as a reduction of ABTS radicals by 35% (150 μM). The study also revealed additional metal-chelating properties of compounds 15 and 18. The presented compounds modulating Alzheimer's disease-related processes might be further developed as multifunctional ligands against the disease.

Keywords: 5-HT6 receptor ligands; AChE; Alzheimer’s disease; BuChE; antioxidant properties; cholinesterase inhibitors; metal-chelating properties; multifunctional ligands.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease* / drug therapy
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Butyrylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Chelating Agents / chemistry
  • Chelating Agents / pharmacology
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors* / chemistry
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors* / pharmacology
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Serotonin / metabolism
  • Serotonin
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Antioxidants
  • Chelating Agents
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • serotonin 6 receptor
  • Serotonin
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Butyrylcholinesterase