Existing evidence suggests that the local anaesthetic mexiletine can be beneficial for patients with asthma. However, caution is required since anaesthesia of the airways inhibits protective bronchodilator neuronal reflexes, limiting applications in conditions of hyperirritable airways. Here, we describe the synthesis of a new series of mexiletine analogues, which were screened for reduced activity in Na channels and improved smooth muscle relaxant effects, that were evaluated using the patch-clamp technique and an isolated tracheal organ bath, respectively. JME-173 (1-(4-bromo-3,5-dimethylphenoxy)propan-2-amine) was the most effective among the four mexiletine analogues investigated. JME-173 was then studied in vivo using a murine model of lung inflammation induced by cigarette smoke (CS) and in vitro using neutrophil chemotaxis and mast cell degranulation assays. Finally, the JME-173 pharmacokinetic profile was assessed using HPLC-MS/MS bioanalytical method. JME-173 directly inhibited IL-8 (CXCL8)- and FMLP-induced human neutrophil chemotaxis and allergen-induced mast cell degranulation. After oral administration 1 h before CS exposure, JME-173 (50 mg/kg) strongly reduced the increased number of macrophages and neutrophils recovered in the bronchoalveolar effluent without altering lymphocyte counts. Pharmacokinetic experiments of JME-173 (10 mg/kg, orally) showed values of maximum concentration (C), maximum time (T), area under the blood concentration-time curve (AUC) and area under the blood concentration-time curve from 0-Inf (AUC) of 163.3 ± 38.3 ng/mL, 1.2 ± 0.3 h, 729.4 ± 118.3 ng*h/ml and 868.9 ± 117.1 ng*h/ml (means ± S.E.M.), respectively. Collectively, these findings suggest that JME-173 has the potential to be an effective oral treatment for diseases associated with bronchoconstriction and inflammation.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.