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Discovery and evaluation of asymmetrical monocarbonyl analogs of curcumin as anti-inflammatory agents

Authors Zhang Y, Zhao C, He W, Wang Z, Fang Q, Xiao B, Liu Z, Liang G, Yang S

Received 23 November 2013

Accepted for publication 15 January 2014

Published 4 April 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 373—382


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Yali Zhang,1,2,* Chengguang Zhao,1,2,* Wenfei He,2,* Zhe Wang,2 Qilu Fang,2 Bing Xiao,2 Zhiguo Liu,2 Guang Liang,2 Shulin Yang1

1School of Environmental and Biological Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China; 2Chemical Biology Research Center, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University, University Town, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response syndrome and is mainly caused by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) – a component of the cell walls of gram-negative bacteria, via toll-like receptor 4–mitogen-activated protein kinases/nuclear factor-kappa B-dependent proinflammatory signaling pathway. Here, we synthesized 26 asymmetric monocarbonyl analogs of curcumin and evaluated their anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting the LPS-induced secretion of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 in mouse RAW264.7 macrophages. Five active compounds (3a, 3c, 3d, 3j, and 3l) exhibited dose-dependent inhibition against the release of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6, and they also showed much higher chemical stability than curcumin in vitro. The anti-inflammatory activity of analogs 3a and 3c may be associated with their inhibition of the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and the activation of nuclear factor-kappa B. In addition, 3c exhibited significant protection against LPS-induced septic death in vivo. These results indicate that asymmetrical monocarbonyl curcumin analogs may be utilized as candidates for the treatment of acute inflammatory diseases.

Keywords: sepsis, inflammatory cytokines, anti-inflammation, quantitative structure–activity relationship

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