Novel compound VB-037 inhibits Aβ aggregation and promotes neurite outgrowth through enhancement of HSP27 and reduction of P38 and JNK-mediated inflammation in cell models for Alzheimer's disease

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The pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is involved in the aggregation of misfolded amyloid β (Aβ), which upregulates the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), increases the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), enhances neuroinflammation, and eventually leads to neuronal death. Therefore, compounds targeting these mechanisms may be candidates for multitarget drugs in AD treatment. We found that two quinoline derivatives, VB-030 and VB-037, markedly reduced Aβ aggregation and ROS levels in the thioflavin T biochemical assay and Tet-On Aβ-green fluorescent protein (GFP) 293 AD cell model. These compounds further improved neurite outgrowth, reduced AChE activity and upregulated the molecular chaperone heat shock protein family B [small] member 1 (HSP27), whereas knockdown of HSP27 counteracted the compounds' neuroprotective effects on the Tet-On Aβ-GFP SH-SY5Y AD neuronal model. Furthermore, VB-037 attenuated lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/interferon (IFN)-γ-induced activation of BV-2 microglial cells. In addition, VB-037 demonstrated its potential to diminish LPS/IFN-γ-induced upregulation of caspase 1 activity, expression of interleukin (IL)-1β, and active phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase 14 (P38), mitogen-activated protein kinase 8 (JNK), and Jun proto-oncogene, AP-1 transcription factor subunit (JUN) signalings, as well as improve cell viability in the Tet-On Aβ-GFP SH-SY5Y AD neuronal model. Our findings strongly indicate the potential of VB-037 for modifying AD progression by targeting multiple mechanisms, thereby offering a new drug development avenue for AD treatment.HIGHLIGHTSNovel compound VB-037 directly reduced Aβ aggregation.VB-037 reduced ROS and AChE activity in Aβ-GFP cells.VB-037 up-regulated chaperone HSP27 in Aβ-GFP neurons.VB-037 reduced neuroinflammation by down-regulating P38 and JNK signaling.VB-037 has great potential as a novel multi-target drug for Alzheimer's disease.

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