Dose-Related Target Occupancy and Effects on Circuitry, Behavior, and Neuroplasticity of the Glycine Transporter-1 Inhibitor PF-03463275 in Healthy and Schizophrenia Subjects



      Glycine transporter-1 (GlyT1) inhibitors may ameliorate cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia. The dose-related occupancy and target engagement of the GlyT1 inhibitor PF-03463275 were studied to inform optimal dose selection for a clinical trial for cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia.


      In substudy 1, the effects of PF-03463275 (10, 20, and 40 mg twice a day) on occupancy of GlyT1 were tested using positron emission tomography and 18F-MK-6577, and visual long-term potentiation (LTP) in schizophrenia patients (SZs) and healthy control subjects. Furthermore, the capacity of PF-03463275 to attenuate ketamine-induced disruption of working memory–related activation of a “working memory” circuit was tested only in healthy control subjects using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subsequently, the effects of PF-03463275 (60 mg twice a day) on occupancy of GlyT1 and long-term potentiation were examined only in SZs (substudy 2).


      PF-03463275 at 10, 20, 40, and 60 mg twice a day produced ∼44%, 61%, 76%, and 83% GlyT1 occupancy, respectively, in SZs with higher ligand binding to GlyT1 in subcortical versus cortical regions. PF-03463275 did not attenuate any ketamine-induced effects but did improve working memory accuracy in healthy control subjects. PF-03463275 increased long-term potentiation only in SZs with peak effects at 40 mg twice a day (∼75% GlyT1 occupancy) and with a profile suggestive of an inverted U dose response. PF-03463275 was well-tolerated.


      The dose-related GlyT1 occupancy of PF-03463275 is linear. While PF-03463275 did not show evidence of facilitating N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor function in the ketamine assay, it enhanced neuroplasticity in SZs. These findings provide support for a clinical trial to test the ability of PF-03463275 to enhance cognitive remediation toward addressing cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia.


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      Linked Article

      • Nailing the Right Dose! The Key for Developing Glycine Transporter Inhibitors for Schizophrenia
        Biological PsychiatryVol. 84Issue 6
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          D’Souza et al. (1) must be congratulated for their rigorous attempt to characterize the relationship between doses, central occupancy, and relevant pharmacodynamic effects by the glycine transporter-1 (GlyT1) inhibitor PF-03463275. Such studies are essential to inform optimal dose selection for efficacy studies and thus provide a critical and indispensable contribution of academia to successful drug development. The conduct and results of their studies highlight methodological and pharmacological issues that are highly relevant for drug development in general and compounds targeting the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) in particular.
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