2-Aryl-3-indoleacetamides (FGIN-1): A new class of potent and specific ligands for the mitochondrial DBI receptor (MDR)

E. Romeo, J. Auta, A. P. Kozikowski, D. Ma, V. Papadopoulos, G. Puia, E. Costa, A. Guidotti

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167 Scopus citations


The 2 aryl-3-indoleacetamides (FGIN-1) are a new class of compounds that potently (nM) and selectively bind to glial mitochondrial diazepam binding inhibitor (DBI) receptors (MDR), previously called peripheral benzodiazepine receptors, and increase mitochondrial steroidogenesis. The high-affinity binding of FGIN-1 to MDR derivatives depends on the following chemical characteristics: 1) the dialkylation of the amide; 2) the chain length of this alkyl substitution; and 3) the halogenation of aryl groups appended to the indole nucleus. FGIN-1 derivatives do not bind to γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)), GABA(B), glycine, glutamate, dopamine, serotonin, opiate, cholecystokinin, beta adrenergic, cannabinoid or sigma receptors. FGIN-1-27 [N, N-di-n-hexyl 2-(4-fluorophenyl)indole-3-acetamide] enters the brain, and for this reason, this FGIN-1 compound is potent and efficacious behaviorally. Like the neurosteroid 3α-5α tetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone (THDOC), FGIN-1- 27 delays the onset of isoniazid-induced convulsions, but fails to delay the onset of bicuculline-induced convulsions. However, differently from THDOC, the FGIN-1-27 anticonvulsant action is blocked by the isoquinoline carboxamide PK 11195. In the elevated plus maze test, FGIN-1-27 inhibits neophobia in a manner that is antagonized by PK 11195 but not by flumazenil. Because FGIN-1-27 binds to MDR and does not bind to the GABA(A) receptors, it is inferred that FGIN-1-27 may act on GABA(A) receptors indirectly, presumably via a stimulation of neurosteroid synthesis and release from glial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-978
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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