Excavating precursors from the traditional Chinese herb Polygala tenuifolia and Gastrodia elata: Synthesis, anticonvulsant activity evaluation of 3,4,5-trimethoxycinnamic acid (TMCA) ester derivatives.
Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders characterized by recurrent seizures that disturbs about 60 million people worldwide. In this article, a novel series of 3,4,5-trimethoxycinnamic acid (TMCA) ester derivatives 1-35 were designed inspired from the traditional Chinese herb pair drugs Polygala tenuifolia and Gastrodia elata and synthesized followed by in vivo and in silico evaluation of their anticonvulsant potential. All the synthesized derivatives were biologically evaluated for their anticonvulsant potential using two acute model of seizures induced in mice, the maximal electroshock (MES) and sc-pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) models. Simultaneously, the motor impairment as a surrogate of acute neurotoxicity and in vitro screening of cytotoxicity against HepG-2 cells line were assessed through the rotarod performance test and CCK-8 assay, respectively. In addition, the physicochemical and pharmacokinetic parameters of the active compounds were determined. Our results showed that compounds 5, 7, 8, 13, 20, 25, 28, 30 and 32 exhibited preferable anticonvulsant activity in primary evaluation, with compounds 28 and 32 being the most promising anticonvulsant agents in according to results of subsequent pharmacology and toxicity evaluation. Additionally, the molecular modeling experiments predicted good binding interactions of part of the obtained active molecules with the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transferas. Therefore, it could be concluded that the synthesized derivatives 28 and 32 would represent useful lead compounds for further investigation in the development of anticonvulsant agents.