The benzamide MS-275 is a potent, long-lasting brain region-selective inhibitor of histone deacetylases

M. V. Simonini, L. M. Camargo, E. Dong, E. Maloku, M. Veldic, E. Costa, A. Guidotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


The association of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor valproate (VPA) with atypical antipsychotics has become a frequent treatment strategy for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Because the VPA doses administered are elevated, one cannot assume that the benefits of the VPA plus antipsychotic treatment are exclusively related to the covalent modifications of nucleosomal histone tails. We compared the actions of N-(2-aminophenyl)-4-[N-(pyridin-3-yl- methoxycarbonyl)aminomethyl]benzamide derivative (MS-275), which is a potent HDAC inhibitor in vitro, with the actions of VPA for their ability to (i) increase the acetylated status of brain nucleosomal histone tail domains and (ii) to regulate brain histone-RELN and histone-GAD67 promoter interactions. MS-275 increases the content of acetylhistone 3 (Ac-H3) in the frontal cortex. Whereas this response peaks after a s.c. injection of 15 μmol/kg, the increase in Ac-H3 content in the hippocampus becomes significant only after an injection of 60 μmol/kg, suggesting that MS-275 is 30- to 100-fold more potent than VPA in increasing Ac-H3 in these brain regions. In contrast to VPA, MS-275, in doses up to 120 μmol/kg, fails to increase Ac-H3 content in the striatum. Chromatin immunoprecipitation shows that MS-275 increases Ac-H3-RELN and Ac-H3-GAD67 promoter interaction in the frontal cortex. These results suggest that MS-275 is a potent brain region-selective HDAC inhibitor. It is likely that, in addition to MS-275, other benzamide derivatives, such as sulpiride, are brain-region selective inhibitors of HDACs. Hence, some benzamide derivatives may express a greater efficacy than VPA as an adjunctive to antipsychotics in the treatment of epigentically induced psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1587-1592
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 31 2006


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Chromatin remodeling
  • Histone code
  • Reelin
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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