Journal of medicinal chemistry

Synthesis and immunosuppressive activity of new artemisinin derivatives. 1. [12(beta or alpha)-Dihydroartemisininoxy]phen(ox)yl aliphatic acids and esters.

PMID 15999998


A series of novel dihydroartemisinin derivatives were synthesized and evaluated on their immunosuppressive activity in the search for potential immunosuppressive agents with high efficacy and low toxicity. These compounds were assayed in their cytotoxicity of lymphocyte, inhibition activity on concanavalin A (ConA) induced T cell proliferation and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced B cell proliferation. Among them, 11b, 13b, 14d, 15b, 16, and 17 remarkably exhibited lower cytotoxicity and higher inhibition activity on the mitogen-induced T cell and B cell proliferation in comparison with artemisinin, artesunate, and artemether in vitro. More significantly, compound 11b displayed reduced cytotoxicity by over 100-fold compared with cyclosporin A (CsA) and comparable inhibition activity (SI = 848) on ConA-induced T cell proliferation to CsA (SI = 963) and more than 4000 times the inhibitory effect (SI = 28473) on LPS-induced B cell proliferation compared with CsA (SI = 7) in vitro. The in vivo experimental results showed that compound 16 could inhibit 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB)-induced delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction and sheep red blood cell (SRBC) induced antibody production, respectively. The structure and activity relationships (SAR) of these compounds were also discussed.