Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor's Name

David Becker

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

John Landrum

Third Advisor's Name

Ophelia Weeks

Fourth Advisor's Name

Stainslaw Wnuk

Fifth Advisor's Name

Watson Lees

Keywords

spin traps, free radicals, nitrones, antioxidants, azulenyl, azlene, pseudoazulene, pseudoazulenyl

Date of Defense

3-11-2009

Abstract

Free radicals have been implicated in various pathological conditions such as, stroke, aging and ischemic heart disease (IHD), as well as neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease. The role of antioxidants in protection from the harmful effects of free radicals has long been recognized. Trapping extremely reactive free radicals and eliminating them from circulation has been shown to be effective in animal models. Nitrone-based free radical traps have been extensively explored in biological systems. Examples include nitrones such as PBN, NXY-059, MDL-101,002, DMPO and EMPO. However, these nitrones have extremely high oxidation potentials as compared to natural antioxidants such as Vitamin E (á-tocopherol), and glutathione. Becker et al. (1995) synthesized novel azulenyl nitrones, which were shown to have oxidation potentials much lower than that of any of the previously reported nitrone based spin traps. Another azulenyl nitrone derivative, stilbazulenyl nitrone (STAZN), was shown to have an even lower oxidation potential within the range of natural antioxidants. STAZN, a second generation free radical trap, was found to be markedly superior than the two most studied nitrones, PBN and NXY-059, in animal models of cerebral ischemia and in an in vitro assay of lipid peroxidation.

In this study, a third generation azulenyl nitrone was synthesized with an electron donating group on the previously synthesized STAZN derivative with the aim to lower the oxidation potential even more. Pseudoazulenes, because of the presence of an annular heteroatom, have been reported to possess even lower oxidation potential than that of the azulenyl counterpart. Therefore, pseudoazulenyl nitrones were synthesized for the first time by extracting and elaborating valtrate from the roots of Centranthus ruber (Red valerian or Jupiter’s beard). Several pseudoazulenyl nitrones were synthesized by using a facile experimental protocol. The physical and biological properties of these pseudoazulenyl nitrones can be easily modified by simply changing the substituent on the heteroatom.

Cyclic voltammetry experiments have shown that these pseudoazulenyl nitrones do indeed have low oxidation potentials. The oxidation potential of these nitrones was lowered even more by preparing derivatives bearing an electron donating group at the 3-position of the five membered ring of the pseudoazulenyl nitrone.

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