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Future Med Chem. 2012 Jun;4(9):1171-207. doi: 10.4155/fmc.12.74.

Potential implication of the chemical properties and bioactivity of nitrone spin traps for therapeutics.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, & Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Nitrone therapeutics has been employed in the treatment of oxidative stress-related diseases such as neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The nitrone-based compound NXY-059, which is the first drug to reach clinical trials for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke, has provided promise for the development of more robust pharmacological agents. However, the specific mechanism of nitrone bioactivity remains unclear. In this review, we present a variety of nitrone chemistry and biological activity that could be implicated for the nitrone's pharmacological activity. The chemistries of spin trapping and spin adduct reveal insights on the possible roles of nitrones for altering cellular redox status through radical scavenging or nitric oxide donation, and their biological effects are presented. An interdisciplinary approach towards the development of novel synthetic antioxidants with improved pharmacological properties encompassing theoretical, synthetic, biochemical and in vitro/in vivo studies is covered.

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