Ibudilast [1-(2-isopropylpyrazolo[1,5-a]pyridin-3-yl)-2-methylpropan-1-one] is a nonselective phosphodiesterase inhibitor used clinically to treat asthma. Efforts to selectively develop the PDE3- and PDE4-inhibitory activity of ibudilast led to replacement of the isopropyl ketone by a pyridazinone heterocycle. Structure-activity relationship exploration in the resulting 6-(pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyridin-3-yl)pyridazin-3(2H)-ones revealed that the pyridazinone lactam functionality is a critical determinant for PDE3-inhibitory activity, with the nitrogen preferably unsubstituted. PDE4 inhibition is strongly promoted by introduction of a hydrophobic substituent at the pyridazinone N(2) centre and a methoxy group at C-7' in the pyrazolopyridine. Migration of the pyridazinone ring connection from the pyrazolopyridine 3'-centre to C-4' strongly enhances PDE4 inhibition. These studies establish a basis for development of potent PDE4-selective and dual PDE3/4-selective inhibitors derived from ibudilast. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Cyclic 3′,5′-nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE)
- PDE3 inhibitors
- PDE4 inhibitors
- Respiratory disease