Makaluvamines are pyrroloiminoquinones isolated from Zyzzya sponges. Until now, they have been described as topoisomerase II inhibitors with cytotoxic effects in diverse tumor cell lines. In the present work, seven makaluvamines were tested in several antioxidant assays in primary cortical neurons and neuroblastoma cells. Among the alkaloids studied, makaluvamine J was the most active in all the assays. This compound was able to reduce the mitochondrial damage elicited by the well-known stressor H₂O₂. The antioxidant properties of makaluvamine J are related to an improvement of the endogenous antioxidant defenses of glutathione and catalase. SHSY5Y assays proved that this compound acts as a Nrf2 activator leading to an improvement of antioxidant defenses. A low concentration of 10 nM is able to reduce the reactive oxygen species release and maintain a correct mitochondrial function. Based on these results, non-substituted nitrogen in the pyrrole plus the presence of a p-hydroxystyryl without a double bond seems to be the most active structure with a complete antioxidant effect in neuronal cells.
- oxidative stress
- marine sponge