The structure-activity relationship optimization of the pyrazoline template 3a resulted in novel 3-oxo-1,2-diphenyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)-indole carboxamides 4a-4e. These non-peptidal CCK ligands have been shown to act as potent CCK 1 ligands in a I-CCK-8 receptor binding assay. The best amides (4c and 4d) of this series displayed an IC50 of 20/25 CCK 1 for the CCK 1 receptor. In a subsequent in-vivo evaluation using various behaviour pharmacological assays, an anxiolytic effect of these novel 3-oxo-1,2-diphenyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)-indole carboxamides was found at high doses in the elevated plus-maze. In the despair swimming test, a model for testing antidepressants, an ED50 of 0.33/0.41 mg kg -1 was determined for amide 4c/4d and the antidepressant effect had a magnitude comparable to desimipramine. © 2006 The Authors.