NYX-2925 is a novel NMDA receptor-specific spirocyclic-β-lactam that modulates synaptic plasticity processes associated with learning and memory

M. Amin Khan, David R. Houck, Amanda L. Gross, Xiao Lei Zhang, Cassia Cearley, Torsten M. Madsen, Roger A. Kroes, Patric K. Stanton, Jeffrey Burgdorf, Joseph R. Moskal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors are one member of a family of ionotropic glutamate receptors that play a pivotal role in synaptic plasticity processes associated with learning and have become attractive therapeutic targets for diseases such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and neuropathic pain. NYX-2925 ((2S, 3R)-3-hydroxy-2-((R)-5-isobutyryl-1-oxo-2,5-diazaspiro[3.4]octan-2-yl)butanamide) is one member of a spiro-β-lactam-based chemical platform that mimics some of the dipyrrolidine structural features of rapastinel (formerly GLYX-13: threonine-proline-proline-threonine) and is distinct from known N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor agonists or antagonists such as D-cycloserine, ketamine, MK-801, kynurenic acid, or ifenprodil. Methods: The in vitro and in vivo pharmacological properties of NYX-2925 were examined. Results: NYX-2925 has a low potential for “off-target” activity, as it did not exhibit any significant affinity for a large panel of neuroactive receptors, including hERG receptors. NYX-2925 increased MK-801 binding to human N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor NR2A-D subtypes expressed in HEK cells and enhanced N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor current and long-term potentiation (LTP) in rat hippocampal slices (100-500 nM). Single dose ex vivo studies showed increased metaplasticity in a hippocampal LTP paradigm and structural plasticity 24 hours after administration (1 mg/kg p.o.). Significant learning enhancement in both novel object recognition and positive emotional learning paradigms were observed (0.01-1 mg/kg p.o.), and these effects were blocked by the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist CPP. NYX-2925 does not show any addictive or sedative/ataxic side effects and has a therapeutic index of >1000. NYX-2925 (1 mg/kg p.o.) has a cerebrospinal fluid half-life of 1.2 hours with a Cmax of 44 nM at 1 hour. Conclusions: NYX-2925, like rapastinel, activates an NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic plasticity process and may have therapeutic potential for a variety of NMDA receptor-mediated central nervous system disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-254
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Learning
  • Memory
  • NMDA receptor
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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