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Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are a class of drugs used for treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, the therapy with currently available TDZs (e.g. rosiglitazone) is associated with important side effects, such as edema and weight gain, suggesting that the investigation of alternative TZDs
with better pharmacological properties is warranted. In this study, we investigated both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of a new chemically modified TZD, the arylidene-thiazolidinedione 5-(4-methanesulfonyl-benzylidene)-3-(4-nitrobenzyl)- thiazolidine-2,4-dione (SF23), and compared
the results to those obtained with rosiglitazone. We found that our SF23 displays a weaker affinity for PPARγ, up-regulating in a lower magnitude the expression of both PPARγ and CD36 compared to rosiglitazone. In lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages, SF23 decreased
nitrite production and attenuated the mRNA expression of both iNOS and COX-2. These anti-inflammatory effects were comparable to those obtained with rosiglitazone. Interestingly, SF23, but not rosiglitazone, prevented LPS-induced mitochondrial membrane hyperpolarization, apoptosis, reactive
oxygen species (ROS) generation, and the expression of NADPH oxidase subunits, Nox1 and Nox2. In addition, in macrophages from Nrf2-/- mice, SF23 protected against LPSinduced cellular death and ROS production, whereas rosiglitazone was only able to protect normal Nrf2+/+ cells against oxidative
injury, suggesting that, unlike rosiglitazone, the antioxidant activity of SF23 might be Nrf2-independent. Finally, in macrophages exposed to high concentrations of glucose, SF23 induced significant increases in the mRNA expression of glucose transporters, insulin receptor substrate and mitoNEET.
Altogether, our data indicate that our new chemically modified TDZ displays similar anti-inflammatory properties, but superior antioxidant effects on the LPS-stimulated macrophages compared to rosiglitazone.
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