Merging memantine and ferulic acid to probe connections between NMDA receptors, oxidative stress and amyloid-β peptide in Alzheimer's disease

Michela Rosini, Elena Simoni, Roberta Caporaso, Filippo Basagni, Michele Catanzaro, Izuddin F Abu, Francesca Fagiani, Federica Fusco, Sara Masuzzo, Diego Albani, Cristina Lanni, Ian R Mellor, Anna Minarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) are critically involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Acting as an open-channel blocker, the anti-AD drug memantine preferentially targets NMDAR overactivation, which has been proposed to trigger neurotoxic events mediated by amyloid β peptide (Aβ) and oxidative stress. In this study, we applied a multifunctional approach by conjugating memantine to ferulic acid, which is known to protect the brain from Aβ neurotoxicity and neuronal death caused by ROS. The most interesting compound (7) behaved, like memantine, as a voltage-dependent antagonist of NMDAR (IC50 = 6.9 μM). In addition, at 10 μM concentration, 7 exerted antioxidant properties both directly and indirectly through the activation of the Nrf-2 pathway in SH-SY5Y cells. At the same concentration, differently from the parent compounds memantine and ferulic acid alone, it was able to modulate Aβ production, as revealed by the observed increase of the non-amyloidogenic sAPPα in H4-SW cells. These findings suggest that compound 7 may represent a promising tool for investigating NMDAR-mediated neurotoxic events involving Aβ burden and oxidative damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Volume180
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2019

Keywords

  • Alzheimer Disease/drug therapy
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Cell Survival/drug effects
  • Coumaric Acids/chemical synthesis
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Memantine/chemical synthesis
  • Molecular Structure
  • Neuroprotective Agents/chemical synthesis
  • Oxidative Stress/drug effects
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured

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