Puupehenone, a sesquiterpene produced by certain sponges, was selected in the course of a blind screening for new potential inhibitors of angiogenesis. In our study, we compare the potential anti-angiogenic activities of puupehenone and another 11 related compounds that were either natural products from marine origin or their synthetic derivatives. The effects of these compounds were determined with cell growth and differentiation assays on bovine aorta endothelial cells. Our results show that these compounds are weak inhibitors to cell growth and are not selective for endothelial cells. However, contrary to cell growth, the differentiation of endothelial cells into tubular structures was completely inhibited by 7 of these compounds at concentrations equal or lower than 3 microM. Three of these compounds, isozonarol, 8-epipuupehedione and 8 epi-9,11-dihydropuupehedione, completely inhibited the in vivo angiogenesis in the CAM assay at doses equal or lower than 30 nmol/egg. Further characterisation showed that these 3 terpenes also inhibited endothelial cell production of urokinase and invasion. One compound (8-epipuupehedione) inhibited endothelial cell migration in a dose-dependent manner. The anti-angiogenic properties of the selected compounds, the simplicity of their structures and the feasibility of their synthesis make them attractive drugs for further evaluation in the treatment of angiogenesis-related pathologies.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.