Indexed on: 29 Jun '10Published on: 29 Jun '10Published in: Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry
N-fatty acyl tryptamines constitute a scarce group of natural compounds mainly encountered in Annonaceous plants. No biological activity was reported so far for these rare molecules. This study investigated the neurotrophic properties of these natural tryptaminic derivatives on dopaminergic (DA) neurons in primary mesencephalic cultures. A structure-activity relationships study led us to precise the role of a nitrogen atom into the aliphatic chain conferring to the compounds a combined neuroprotective and neuritogenic activity in the nanomolar range. The potent antioxidant activity of these natural products seems to be involved in part of their mechanism of action. This study provides the first description of natural neurotrophin mimetics present in Annonaceae extracts, and led to the biological characterization of compounds, which present a potential interest in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease.