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Antioxidant and Neuroprotective Effects of N-((3,4-Dihydro-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-yl)methyl)-4-methoxyaniline in Primary Cultured Rat Cortical Cells: Involvement of ERK-CREB Signaling

1
College of Pharmacy, Dongguk University-Seoul, Goyang 10326, Korea
2
College of Pharmacy, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 28160, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2018, 23(3), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23030669
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 15 March 2018
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Abstract

Excitotoxicity and oxidative stress play vital roles in the development of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the present study, we investigated the effect of N-((3,4-dihydro-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-yl)methyl)-4-methoxyaniline (BL-M) on excitotoxic neuronal cell damage in primary cultured rat cortical cells, and compared to that of memantine, a non-competitive N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist clinically used to treat AD. We found that BL-M inhibited glutamate- or N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-induced excitotoxic cell damage. The IC50 value of BL-M against NMDA toxicity was comparable to that of memantine. BL-M potently inhibited intracellular reactive oxygen species generated by glutamate or NMDA. Additionally, it inhibited the formation of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl radicals in vitro and lipid peroxidation in rat brain homogenates. In contrast, memantine showed minimal or negligible antioxidant activity. Western blotting and immunocytochemical analyses showed that BL-M, not memantine, increased the ERK1/2 phosphorylation and subsequent phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). The inhibition of NMDA toxicity by BL-M was dramatically reversed by U0126, a well-known MEK inhibitor, suggesting that ERK1/2-mediated CREB phosphorylation is required for the neuroprotective action. Collectively, in this study, we demonstrated the neuroprotective effect of a newly synthesized chromene derivative BL-M and its underlying action mechanism(s). In contrast to memantine, BL-M exhibited marked antioxidant activity. Furthermore, it enhanced the ERK-mediated phosphorylation of CREB, which plays a crucial neuroprotective role. Our findings suggest that BL-M may be beneficial for AD and other neurodegenerative disorders associated with excitotoxicity as well as oxidative stress. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; chromene derivative; excitotoxicity; ERK1/2; CREB phosphorylation; antioxidant Alzheimer’s disease; chromene derivative; excitotoxicity; ERK1/2; CREB phosphorylation; antioxidant
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Lee, K.; Park, C.; Oh, Y.; Lee, H.; Cho, J. Antioxidant and Neuroprotective Effects of N-((3,4-Dihydro-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-yl)methyl)-4-methoxyaniline in Primary Cultured Rat Cortical Cells: Involvement of ERK-CREB Signaling. Molecules 2018, 23, 669.

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