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Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 1994 May;42(5):1157-9.

(S)-form of alpha-methyl-N(alpha)-phthalimidoglutarimide, but not its (R)-form, enhanced phorbol ester-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha production by human leukemia cell HL-60: implication of optical resolution of thalidomidal effects.

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Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The rate of racemization of N(alpha)-phthalimidoglutarimide (thalidomide) was determined as its half life to be 566 min at pH 7.4/37 degrees C. This fast racemization of thalidomide resulted in no apparent difference between (S)- and (R)-forms of the compound on enhancing activity of phorbol ester-induced tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha production by human leukemia HL-60 cells. Optically pure forms of structurally related analog of thalidomide, (S)- and (R)-alpha-methyl-N(alpha)-phthalimidoglutarimides (methylthalidomides), which do not racemize under the physiological condition, were prepared. Only (S)-form of methylthalidomide, but not its (R)-form, elicited TNF-alpha production-enhancing effect, suggesting that the (S)-isomer of thalidomide would be the active form in terms of thalidomidal biological response modifying effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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