Medicinal Chemistry Research

, Volume 27, Issue 11–12, pp 2387–2396 | Cite as

Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of (E)-3-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl) acrylic acid (TMCA) amide derivatives as anticonvulsant and sedative agents

  • Zefeng Zhao
  • Yajun Bai
  • Xufei Chen
  • Shaoping Wu
  • Xirui He
  • Yujun Bai
  • Ying Sun
  • Xiaohui ZhengEmail author
Original Research


In this article, a novel series of (E)-3-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)acrylic acid (TMCA) amide derivatives 1-18 were designed and synthesized by a facile and one-pot step, which were achieved with good yields using 1-hydroxybenzotriazole (HOBT) and 1-(3-Dimethylaminopropyl)-3-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDCI) as activation system. All the synthesized derivatives were biologically evaluated for their anticonvulsant, sedative activity and neurotoxicity using the maximal electroshock (MES) model, sc-pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) model, pentobarbital sodium-induced sleeping model, and locomotor activity tests, respectively. Among them, compounds 4, 9 and 16 exhibited good anticonvulsant activity in primary evaluation. Furthermore, compound 4 is the most effective anticonvulsant and sedative agent in subsequent tests, while the low threshold of toxicity of compound 4 is vigilant. Compounds 9 and 16 also performed significantly anticonvulsant activity in subsequent tests with weak toxicity. The molecular modeling experiments also predicted good binding interactions of the obtained active molecules with the GABA transferas. Therefore, it could be concluded that the synthesized derivatives 4, 9 and 16 would represent useful lead compounds for further investigation in the development of anticonvulsant and sedative agents.


Synthesis 3,4,5-Trimethoxycinnamic acid Amide derivatives Anticonvulsant Sedative Docking 



This work was supported by the Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in Universities, Ministry of Education of China (IRT_15R55), the 7th Group of Hundred-Talent Program of Shaanxi Province (2015), and Natural Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province, China (Grant No. 2017JM8054).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

44_2018_2228_MOESM1_ESM.docx (35.2 mb)
Supplementary Information


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zefeng Zhao
    • 1
  • Yajun Bai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xufei Chen
    • 1
  • Shaoping Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xirui He
    • 3
  • Yujun Bai
    • 1
  • Ying Sun
    • 1
  • Xiaohui Zheng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Resource Biology and Biotechnology in Western China, Ministry of EducationNorthwest UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.College of Chemistry and Materials ScienceNorthwest UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.Honghui HospitalXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

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