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Title: Synthesis and discovery of the putative cognitive enhancer BRS-015 : effect on glutamatergic transmission and synaptic plasticity
Author: Szulc, B. R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 8922
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is concerned with the discovery of a novel heterocyclic compound – BRS-015, its synthesis and an analysis of its effects on excitatory synaptic transmission at a major pathway in the brain. BRS-015 is related to the natural product clausenamide, which has been shown to facilitate synaptic transmission. As such, clausenamide and related analogues may possess therapeutic potential as memory enhancing drugs, which are in urgent need of development due to the increasing numbers of patients diagnosed with memory disorders and for which there is no current effective therapy. BRS-015 was synthesized using a novel approach to the core structure of clausenamide involving an intramolecular acylal cyclisation reaction, which has not previously been reported. The first section of the thesis opens with a description of the discovery, structure and biological activity of clausenamide and discussion of previous synthetic strategies adopted by a number of research groups and attempts to classify these into the varying approaches towards the central core of clausenamide. The second section describes the structure of the rat brain and the types of processes involved in memory formation, as well as the neurophysiological assays used to investigate synaptic transmission and plasticity. The second group of chapters describes our own approach to the core of clausenamide and the synthesis of BRS-015, with a detailed discussion of the structural analysis and investigation of the intramolecular acylal cyclisation reaction used during the synthetic process. The third chapter describes the neurophysiological assays used in our investigations into the effects of BRS-015, which was tested against glutamatergic synaptic transmission and plasticity in acute rat hippocampal slices. BRS-015 was shown to reversibly enhance the amplitude of AMPA receptor mediated EPSCs recorded from CA3 pyramidal neurones and evoked by dentate stimulation. When tested in the presence of selective glutamate receptor antagonists, BRS-015 did not have this powerful enhancing effect on kainate or NMDA receptor mediated EPSCs. In addition, BRS-015 increased the amplitude of glutamate-evoked currents in CA3 pyramidal neurones and did not alter short-term synaptic plasticity but facilitated the induction of mossy fibre LTP, with little effect at associational/commissural synapses. BRS-015 has striking enhancing properties on AMPA receptor mediated synaptic transmission at mossy fibre synapses either by directly interacting with AMPA receptors or via indirect modulation, the mechanisms of which could lead to synapse strengthening.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available