HJ22, a Novel derivative of piperine, Attenuates ibotenic acid-induced cognitive impairment, oxidativestress, apoptosis and inflammation via inhibiting the protein-protein interaction of Keap1-Nrf2

Xiping Yang, Jing Ji, Chunxiao Liu, Mengze Zhou, Huanqiu Li, Shumin Ye, Qinghua Hu
International Immunopharmacology 2020 March 16, 83: 106383
Kelch-like ECH-associated protein (Keap1)-nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) protein-protein interaction has become an important drug target for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. In this study, we found a novel piperine derivative (HJ22) synthesized by our group with great ability to bind to Keap-1 and activate Keap1-Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway in vitro, driving us to investigate the beneficial effects of HJ22 on ibotenic acid (IBO)-induced neurological disorders in rats and underlying mechanisms. Interestingly, HJ22 significantly ameliorated IBO-induced cognitive impairment in Morris water maze, Y-maze and passive avoidance tests. Moreover, HJ22 significantly attenuated cholinergic dysfunction and neuronal morphological changes via inhibiting apoptotic cell death induced by IBO. Notably, HJ22 inhibited the interaction between Keap1 and Nrf2, and subsequently up-regulated nuclear Nrf2 expression, thereby inhibiting oxidative stress and Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP)-mediated Nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation. These findings demonstrated that HJ22 exhibited potent therapeutic effects against IBO-induced cognitive impairment by alleviating cholinergic damage, oxidative stress, apoptosis and neuroinflammation, which might be partly attributed to its inhibitory activity on Keap1-Nrf2 protein-protein interaction.

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