SGS742: The first GABAB receptor antagonist in clinical trials

Wolfgang Froestl, Michela Gallagher, Helen Jenkins, Annette Madrid, Thorsten Melcher, Sam Teichman, Cesare G. Mondadori, Rodney Pearlman

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


The GABAB receptor antagonist SGS742 (CGP36742) displays pronounced cognition enhancing effects in mice, young and old rats and in Rhesus monkeys in active and passive avoidance paradigms, in an eight-arm radial maze and a Morris water maze and in a social learning task. SGS742 blocks the late inhibitory postsynaptic potential and the paired-pulse inhibition of population spikes recorded from CA1 pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus of rats in vitro and in vivo. SGS742 significantly enhances the release of glutamate, aspartate, glycine and somatostatin in vivo. Chronic administration of SGS742 causes an up-regulation of GABAB receptors in the frontal cortex of rats. Single doses cause a significant enhancement of the mRNA and protein levels of NGF and BDNF in the cortex and hippocampus of rats. The observed antidepressant effects of SGS742 in rats may be explained by these findings. SGS742 was well tolerated in experimental animals as well as in young and elderly human volunteers with an absolute bioavailability in humans of 44%. In a Phase II double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 110 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), oral administration of SGS742 at a dose of 600 mg t.i.d. for 8 weeks significantly improved attention, in particular choice reaction time and visual information processing as well as working memory measured as pattern recognition speed. A second Phase II clinical trial in 280 Alzheimer's disease patients is underway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1479-1487
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2004


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Mild cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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