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Journal of medicinal chemistry

Novel dehydroepiandrosterone derivatives with antiapoptotic, neuroprotective activity.


PMID 19845386

Abstract

DHEA analogues with modifications at positions C3 or C17 were synthesized and evaluated for neuroprotective activity against the neural-crest-derived PC12 cell model of serum deprivation-induced apoptosis. The most potent compounds were the spiro-epoxy derivatives 17beta-spiro[5-androstene-17,2'-oxiran]-3beta-ol (20), (20S)-3beta,21-dihydroxy-17beta,20-epoxy-5-pregnene (23), and (20R)-3beta,21-dihydroxy-17alpha,20-epoxy-5-pregnene (27) with IC(50) values of 0.19 +/- 0.01, 99.0 +/- 4.6, and 6.4 +/- 0.3 nM, respectively. Analogues 20, 23, and 27, up to the micromolar range of concentrations, were unable to activate estrogen receptor alpha and beta (ERalpha and ERbeta) or to interfere with ER-dependent gene expression significantly. In addition, they were unable to stimulate the growth of Ishikawa, MCF-7, and LNCaP cells. Our results suggest that the spiro-epoxyneurosteroid derivatives 20, 23, and 27 may prove to be lead molecules for the synthesis of novel neuroprotective agents.