Development of CVN424: A Selective and Novel GPR6 Inverse Agonist Effective in Models of Parkinson Disease. Academic Article uri icon


  • GPR6 is an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor that has enriched expression in the striatopallidal, indirect pathway and medium spiny neurons of the striatum. This pathway is greatly impacted by the loss of the nigro-striatal dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson disease, and modulating this neurocircuitry can be therapeutically beneficial. In this study, we describe the in vitro and in vivo pharmacological characterization of (R)-1-(2-(4-(2,4-difluorophenoxy)piperidin-1-yl)-3-((tetrahydrofuran-3-yl)amino)-7,8-dihydropyrido[3,4-b]pyrazin-6(5H)-yl)ethan-1-one (CVN424), a highly potent and selective small-molecule inverse agonist for GPR6 that is currently undergoing clinical evaluation. CVN424 is brain-penetrant and shows dose-dependent receptor occupancy that attained brain 50% of receptor occupancy at plasma concentrations of 6.0 and 7.4 ng/ml in mice and rats, respectively. Oral administration of CVN424 dose-dependently increases locomotor activity and reverses haloperidol-induced catalepsy. Furthermore, CVN424 restored mobility in bilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesion model of Parkinson disease. The presence and localization of GPR6 in medium spiny neurons of striatum postmortem samples from both nondemented control and patients with Parkinson disease were confirmed at the level of both RNA (using Nuclear Enriched Transcript Sort sequencing) and protein. This body of work demonstrates that CVN424 is a potent, orally active, and brain-penetrant GPR6 inverse agonist that is effective in preclinical models and is a potential therapeutic for improving motor function in patients with Parkinson disease. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: CVN424 represents a nondopaminergic novel drug for potential use in patients with Parkinson disease.Copyright © 2021 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

publication date

  • June 2021