Neurotherapeutic capacity of P7C3 agents for the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury

Meghan O. Blaya, Joseph M. Wasserman, Andrew A. Pieper, Thomas J. Sick, Helen M. Bramlett, W. Dalton Dietrich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant public health problem around the world. A promising area of research is the characterization of small, drug-like molecules that have potent clinical properties. One pharmacotherapeutic agent in particular, an aminopropyl carbazole called P7C3, was discovered using an in vivo screen to identify new agents that augmented the net magnitude of adult hippocampal neurogenesis. P7C3 greatly enhanced neurogenesis by virtue of increasing survival rates of immature neurons. The potent neuroprotective efficacy of P7C3 is likely due to enhanced nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) activity, which supports critical cellular processes. The scaffold of P7C3 was found to have favorable pharmacokinetic properties, good bioavailability, and was nontoxic. Preclinical studies have shown that administration of the P7C3-series of neuroprotective compounds after TBI can rescue and reverse detrimental cellular events leading to improved functional recovery. In several TBI models and across multiple species, P7C3 and its analogues have produced significant neuroprotection, axonal preservation, robust increases in the net magnitude of adult neurogenesis, protection from injury-induced LTP deficits, and improvement in neurological functioning. This review will elucidate the exciting and diverse therapeutic findings of P7C3 administration in the presence of a complex and multifactorial set of cellular and molecular challenges brought forth by experimental TBI. The clinical potential and broad therapeutic applicability of P7C3 warrants much needed investigation into whether these remedial effects can be replicated in the clinic. P7C3 may serve as an important step forward in the design, understanding, and implementation of pharmacotherapies for treating patients with TBI. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled “Novel Treatments for Traumatic Brain Injury”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-282
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • NAD
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neuroprotection
  • P7C3
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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