Author(s): Suh N, Honda T, Finlay HJ, Barchowsky A, Williams C,
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Abstract We have synthesized more than 80 novel triterpenoids, all derivatives of oleanolic and ursolic acid, as potential anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive agents. These triterpenoids have been tested for their ability to suppress the de novo formation of two enzymes, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and inducible cyclooxygenase (COX-2), using IFN-gamma-stimulated primary mouse macrophages or lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated RAW 264.7 macrophages as assay systems. Two synthetic oleananes, 3,12-dioxoolean-1-en-28-oic acid (TP-69) and 3,11-dioxoolean-1,12-dien-28-oic acid (TP-72), were highly active inhibitors of de novo formation of both iNOS and COX-2. Both TP-69 and TP-72 blocked the increase in iNOS or COX-2 mRNA induced by IFN-gamma or LPS. In addition, TP-72 suppressed NF-KB activation in primary macrophages treated with the combination of IFN-gamma and LPS or IFN-gamma and tumor necrosis factor. The 3-alpha(axial)-epimer of ursolic acid suppressed de novo formation of COX-2, in contrast to naturally occurring 3-beta(equatorial)-ursolic acid. Inhibitory effects of TP-69 or TP-72 on iNOS formation were not blocked by the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU-486, indicating that these triterpenoids do not act through the glucocorticoid receptor, nor does TP-72 act as an iNOS or COX-2 enzyme inhibitor when added to RAW cells in which synthesis of these two enzymes in response to LPS has already been induced. It may be possible to develop triterpenoids as useful agents for chemoprevention of cancer or other chronic diseases with an inflammatory component.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry