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Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1573-4064
ISSN (Online): 1875-6638

Research Article

Chalcones as Scavengers of HOCl and Inhibitors of Oxidative Burst: Structure-Activity Relationship Studies

Author(s): Thaise Martins, Vera L.M. Silva, Artur M.S. Silva, José L.F.C. Lima, Eduarda Fernandes* and Daniela Ribeiro*

Volume 18 , Issue 1 , 2022

Published on: 29 December, 2020

Page: [88 - 96] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/1573406417666201230093207


Aims: This study evaluates the ability of chalcones to scavenge hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and modulate oxidative burst.

Background: The chemistry of chalcones has long been a matter of interest to the scientific community due to the phenolic groups often present and to the various replaceable hydrogens that allow the formation of a broad number of derivatives. Due to this chemical diversity, several biological activities have been attributed to chalcones, namely anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Objectives: Evaluate the ability of a panel of 34 structurally related chalcones to scavenge HOCl and/or suppress its production through the inhibition of human neutrophils’ oxidative burst, followed by the establishment of the respective structure-activity relationships.

Methods: The ability of chalcones to scavenge HOCl was evaluated by fluorimetric detection of the inhibition of dihydrorhodamine 123 oxidation. The ability of chalcones to inhibit neutrophils’ oxidative burst was evaluated by chemiluminometric detection of the inhibition of luminol oxidation.

Results: It was observed that the ability to scavenge HOCl depends on the position and number of hydroxy groups on both aromatic rings. Chalcone 5b was the most active with an IC50 value of 1.0 ± 0.1 μM. The ability to inhibit neutrophils’ oxidative burst depends on the presence of a 2’-hydroxy group on A-ring and on other substituents groups, e.g. methoxy, hydroxy, nitro and/or chlorine atom( s) at C-2, C-3 and/or C-4 on B-ring, as in chalcones 2d, 2f, 2j, 2i, 4b, 2n and 1d, which were the most actives with IC50 values ranging from 0.61 ± 0.02 μM to 1.7 ± 0.2 μM.

Conclusion: The studied chalcones showed high activity at a low micromolar range, indicating their potential as antioxidant agents and to be used as a molecular structural scaffold for the design of new anti-inflammatory compounds.

Keywords: Chalcones, hypochlorous acid, scavenging activity, reactive species, human neutrophils, antioxidant activity.

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