Characterization of 2 Novel Phosphodiesterase 2 Inhibitors Hcyb1 and PF-05180999 on Depression- and Anxiety-Like Behavior

Yuqing Yan, Yuhan Zhao, Yue Lu, Abhinav P. Acharya, Wei Wang, Chang Guo Zhan, Jianghong Ye, Fu Du, Xiongwei Zhu, Ying Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Phosphodiesterase 2A (PDE2A) represents a novel target for new therapies addressing psychiatric disorders. To date, the development of PDE2A inhibitors suitable for human clinical evaluation has been hampered by the poor brain accessibility and metabolic stability of the available compounds. Methods: Corticosterone (CORT)-induced neuronal cell lesion and restraint stress mouse model were used to measure the neuroprotective effect in cells and antidepressant-like behavior in mice. Results: The cell-based assay showed that both Hcyb1 and PF were potent in protecting cells against stress hormone CORT insults by stimulating cAMP and cGMP signaling in hippocampal cells (HT-22). Administration of both compounds before treatment of CORT to cells increased cAMP/cGMP, VASP phosphorylation at Ser239 and Ser157, cAMP response element binding protein phosphorylation at Ser133, and brain derived neurotrophic factor BDNF expression. Further in vivo study showed that both Hcyb1 and PF displayed -antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects against restraint stress as indicated by reduced immobility time in the forced swimming and tail suspension tasks as well as increased open arm entries and time spent in open arms and holes visit in elevated plus maze and hole-board tests, respectively. The biochemical study confirmed that these antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects of Hcyb1 and PF were related to cAMP and cGMP signaling in the hippocampus. Conclusions: The results extend the previous studies and validate that PDE2A is a tractable target for drug development in the treatment of emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-425
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.


  • Hcyb1
  • PDE2A
  • PF-05180999
  • anxiety- and depression-like behavior
  • cGMP/cAMP
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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