Receptor binding profile and anxiolytic-type activity of deramciclane (EGIS-3886) in animal models

István Gacsályi, Éva Schmidt, István Gyertyán, Eero Vasar, Aavo Lang, Antti Haapalinna, Márton Fekete, Jarmo Hietala, Erkka Syvälahti, Päivi Tuomainen, Pekka T. Männistö

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The present series of experiments was done to characterize the properties of deramciclane, a new antiserotonergic drug, in both receptor binding studies in vitro and in a number of anxiolytic, antidepressant, and antidopaminergic tests in rodents. A striking property of deramciclane was its high affinity to both 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(2C) receptors (K(i) = 8.7-27 nM/l). Deramciclane had also a moderate affinity to dopamine D2 and sigma receptors but did not interact with any of the adrenergic receptors. Deramciclane was active in several animal models predicting anxiolytic efficacy in humans. The active dose range of deramciclane was narrow in some tests, but generally the active dose range extended from 0.5 mg/kg (1.2 μmol/kg) to 10 mg/kg (23.9 μmol/kg). Statistically significant results were obtained in Vogel's test (1 mg/kg; 2.4 μmol/kg), social interaction (0.7 mg/kg; 1.7 μmol/kg), two-compartment box (3 mg/kg; 7.2 μmol/kg), and marble-burying tests (10 mg/kg; 23.9 μmol/kg). Although deramciclane as such was not active in the elevated plus maze, it antagonized the anxiogenic effect of the CCK agonist caerulein in this test, although significantly only at one dose (0.5 mg/kg; 1.2 μmol/kg). Deramciclane (1.4 and 14 mg/kg; 3.3 and 32.5 μmol/kg) was active in the learned helplessness paradigm. However, it had no antidepressant activity in tetrabenazine-induced ptosis or forced swimming test at ≤150 mg/kg (359 μmol/kg). Deramciclane elevated serum prolactin levels and brain dopamine metabolites (DOPAC, HVA) only at 20-40 mg/kg (48-96 μmol/kg). Deramciclane up to 40-100 mg/kg (96-239 μmol/kg) did not modify apomorphine-induced climbing, amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, or the conditioned avoidance reaction. Swimming-induced grooming was inhibited only by 50 mg/kg (112 μmol/kg) of deramciclane. Deramciclane reduced the motor activity at doses well above the established anxiolytic doses: ED50 18 mg/kg; 43 μmol/kg (rats) and 31.5. mg/kg; 75 μmol/kg (mice). Based on these results the anxiolytic-type selectivity of deramciclane appears satisfactory and to have a psychopharmacological profile of its own.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-348
Number of pages16
JournalDrug Development Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1997



  • Elevated plus maze
  • Learned helplessness
  • Marble burying
  • Punished drinking
  • Serotonin 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(2C) receptors
  • Swimming-induced grooming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery

Cite this

Gacsályi, I., Schmidt, É., Gyertyán, I., Vasar, E., Lang, A., Haapalinna, A., Fekete, M., Hietala, J., Syvälahti, E., Tuomainen, P., & Männistö, P. T. (1997). Receptor binding profile and anxiolytic-type activity of deramciclane (EGIS-3886) in animal models. Drug Development Research, 40(4), 333-348.<333::AID-DDR7>3.3.CO;2-6