Due to the clearly demonstrated receptor-receptor interaction between adenosine A2A and dopamine D2 receptors in the basal ganglia, the discovery and development of potent and selective A2A adenosine receptor antagonists became, in the last ten years, an attractive field of research to discovery new drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinsons disease.
Different compounds have been deeply investigated as A2A adenosine receptor antagonists, which could be classified in two great families: xanthine derivatives and nitrogen poliheterocyclic systems. These studies led to the discovery of some highly potent and selective A2A adenosine receptor antagonists such as ZM241385, SCH58261 and some xanthine derivatives (KW6002), which have been used as pharmacological tools for studying this receptor subtype.
However, those compounds showed some problems that do not permit their use in clinical studies, such as poor water solubility (SCH58261, and xanthine derivatives) or good affinity for A2B adenosine receptor subtype (ZM241385).
In the last few years great efforts have been made to overcome these problems, trying to optimize not only the pharmacological profile but also the pharmacokinetic character of this class of compounds. The aim of this report is to briefly summarize the recent progress made in this attractive field of research.