Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease and conditions such as ischemic stroke affect millions of individuals annually and exert an enormous financial burden on society. A hallmark of these conditions is the abnormal loss of neurons. Currently, there are no effective strategies to prevent neuronal death in these pathologies. We report that several 2-arylidine and 2-hetarylidin derivatives of the 1,4-benzoxazines class of compounds are highly protective in tissue culture models of neurodegeneration. Results obtained using pharmcalogical inhibitors indicate that neuroprotection by these compounds does not involve the Raf-MEK-ERK or PI-3 kinase-Akt signaling pathways nor other survival-promoting molecules such as protein kinase A (PKA), calcium calmodulin kinase A (CaMK), and histone deacetylases (HDACs). We tested one of these compounds, (Z)-6-amino-2-(3′,5′-dibromo-4′-hydroxybenzylidene) -2H-benzo[b][1,4]oxazin-3(4H)-one, designated as HSB-13, in the 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP)-induced mouse model of Huntington's disease. HSB-13 reduced striatal degeneration and improved behavioral performance in mice administered with 3-NP. Furthermore, HSB-13 was protective in a Drosophila model of amyloid precursor protein (APP) toxicity. To understand how HSB-13 and other 1,4-benzoxazines protect neurons, we performed kinase profiling analyses. These analyses showed that HSB-13 inhibits GSK3, p38 MAPK, and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). In comparison, another compound, called ASK-2a, that protects cerebellar granule neurons against low-potassium-induced death inhibits GSK3 and p38 MAPK but not CDKs. Despite its structural similarity to HSB-13, however, ASK-2a is incapable of protecting cortical neurons and HT22 cells against homocysteic acid (HCA)-induced or Aβ toxicity, suggesting that protection against HCA and Aβ depends on CDK inhibition. Compounds described in this study represent a novel therapeutic tool in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
- Neurodegenerative disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience