To improve the blood−brain barrier permeability of the trypanocidal lead compound 4,4′-bis(imidazolinylamino)diphenylamine (1), five N-alkoxy analogues were synthesized from bis(4-isothiocyanatophenyl)amine and N-alkoxy-N-(2-aminoethyl)-2-nitrobenzenesulfonamides following successive chemical reactions in just one reactor (“one-pot procedure”). This involved: (a) formation of a thiourea intermediate, (b) removal of the amine protecting groups, and (c) intramolecular cyclization. The blood−brain barrier permeability of the compounds determined in vitro by transport assays through the hCMEC/D3 human cell line, a well-known and characterized human cellular blood−brain barrier model, showed that the N-hydroxy analogue 16 had enhanced blood−brain barrier permeability compared with the unsubstituted lead compound. Moreover, this compound displayed low micromolar IC50 against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and Plasmodium falciparum and moderate activity by intraperitoneal administration in the STIB900 murine model of acute sleeping sickness
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