, Volume 2, Issue 2-3, pp 167-178

Oxidative neuropathology and putative chemical entities for alzheimer’s disease: Neuroprotective effects of salen-manganese catalytic anti-oxidants

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Considerable evidence exists that the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are subject to elevated levels of oxidative stress, particularly in regions exhibiting pathological damage. A major contributor to this oxidative stress appears to be the inflammatory process. Activation of rodent microglial cells by LPS or β-amyloid peptide results in a marked up-regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and corresponding nitric oxide (NO) production. Elevated levels of iNOS are also observed in the brains of Alzheimer patients. The reaction of NO with superoxide leads to the generation of the highly reactive and damaging peroxynitrite free radical species. Peroxynitrite appears to play a key role in the generation of an oxidative stress in the Alzheimer brain as evidenced by widespread nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity. We have employed SIN-1 as a peroxynitrite generating system in cell cultures in order to characterise the effects of this free radical on neurons. SIN-1 treatment of primary rat hippocampal neurons in culture results in neurotoxicity by a necrosis mechanism according to electron microscopic criteria. One approach to limiting peroxynitrite mediated damage is to limit superoxide production. An approach we have evaluated is treatment with salen manganese compounds, a class of catalytic antioxidant compounds which behave as superoxide dismutase (SOD)/catalase mimetics to detoxify superoxide. A number of such salen manganese compounds, including EUK-8 and EUK-134, can markedly protect primary rat cortical neurons from hydrogen peroxide mediated oxidative stress. Such salen manganese compounds can similarly afford marked neuroprotection to an oxidative stress imposed by SIN-1, potentially attributable at least in part to their inherent SOD activity. The salen manganese SOD/catalase mimetics represent a promising class of catalytic antioxidant for attenuating oxidative stress.