Potentiation of the behavioural effects of the antidepressant phenelzine by deuterium substitution.
Dourish CT., Dewar KM., Dyck LE., Boulton AA.
Phenelzine in the rat induced biphasic behavioural stimulation, which was profoundly potentiated by deuterium substitution. Doses of 12.5 or 25.0 mg/kg phenelzine had little or no effect on spontaneous activity, whereas the same doses of deuterated phenelzine produced hyperactivity, wet-dog shakes, forepaw padding, splayed hind limbs, backward walking, sniffing and stereotyped grooming 2-12 h after injection. Similarly, the behavioural response induced by 50.0 mg/kg phenelzine was strongly potentiated by deuterium substitution. It appears likely that the increased behavioural response induced by deuterated phenelzine may be due to its greater potency as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor compared to undeuterated phenelzine. Since phenelzine is an antidepressant that is particularly efficacious in the treatment of severe anxiety, a deuterated analogue of the drug seems likely to be clinically useful.