The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) has been shown to be an important regulator of neuronal cell death. Previously, we synthesized the sodium salt of 11H-indeno[1,2-b]quinoxalin-11-one (IQ-1S) and demonstrated that it was a high-affinity inhibitor of the JNK family. In the present work, we found that IQ-1S could release nitric oxide (NO) during its enzymatic metabolism by liver microsomes. Moreover, serum nitrite/nitrate concentration in mice increased after intraperitoneal injection of IQ-1S. Because of these dual actions as JNK inhibitor and NO-donor, the therapeutic potential of IQ-1S was evaluated in an animal stroke model. We subjected wild-type C57BL6 mice to focal ischemia (30min) with subsequent reperfusion (48h). Mice were treated with IQ-1S (25mg/kg) suspended in 10% solutol or with vehicle alone 30min before and 24h after middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion (MCAO). Using laser-Doppler flowmetry, we monitored cerebral blood flow (CBF) above the MCA during 30min of MCAO provoked by a filament and during the first 30min of subsequent reperfusion. In mice treated with IQ-1S, ischemic and reperfusion values of CBF were not different from vehicle-treated mice. However, IQ-1S treated mice demonstrated markedly reduced neurological deficit and infarct volumes as compared with vehicle-treated mice after 48h of reperfusion. Our results indicate that the novel JNK inhibitor releases NO during its oxidoreductive bioconversion and improves stroke outcome in a mouse model of cerebral reperfusion. We conclude that IQ-1S is a promising dual functional agent for the treatment of cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury.
Keywords: Cerebral reperfusion; Nitric oxide; c-Jun N-terminal kinase.
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