2,3-Diarylxanthones as potential inhibitors of Arachidonic acid metabolic pathways uri icon


  • In response to an inflammatory stimulus, arachidonic acid (AA), the main polyunsaturated fatty acid present in the phospholipid layer of cell membranes, is released and metabolized to a series of eicosanoids. These bioactive lipid mediators of inflammation arise physiologically through the action of the enzymes 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) and cyclooxygenases (constitutive COX-1 and inducible COX-2). It is believed that dual inhibition of 5-LOX and COXs may have a higher beneficial impact in the treatment of inflammatory disorders rather than the inhibition of each enzyme. With this demand for new dual-acting anti-inflammatory agents, a range of 2,3-diarylxanthones were tested through their ability to interact in the AA metabolism. In vitro anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated through the inhibition of 5-LOX-catalyzed leukotriene B4 (LTB4) formation in human neutrophils and inhibition of COX-1- and COX-2-catalyzed prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) formation in human whole blood. The results showed that some of the studied arylxanthones were able to prevent LTB4 production in human neutrophils, in a concentration-dependent manner. The xanthone with a 2-catechol was the most active one (IC50 ∼ 9 μM). The more effective arylxanthones in preventing COX-1-catalyzed PGE2 production presented IC50 values from 1 to 7 μM, exhibiting a structural feature with at least one non-substituted aryl group. All the studied arylxanthones were ineffective to prevent the formation of PGE2 catalyzed by COX-2, up to the maximum concentration of 100 μM. The ability of the tested 2,3-diarylxanthones to interact with both 5-LOX and COX-1 pathways constitutes an important step in the research of novel dual-acting anti-inflammatory drugs.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017