Novel Benzylidene Thiazolidinedione Derivatives as Partial PPARγ Agonists and their Antidiabetic Effects on Type 2 Diabetes

Sci Rep. 2017 Oct 31;7(1):14453. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14776-0.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) has received significant attention as a key regulator of glucose and lipid homeostasis. In this study, we synthesized and tested a library of novel 5-benzylidene-thiazolidin-2,4-dione (BTZD) derivatives bearing a substituent on nitrogen of TZD nucleus (compounds 1a-1k, 2i-10i, 3a, 6a, and 8a-10a). Three compounds (1a, 1i, and 3a) exhibited selectivity towards PPARγ and were found to be weak to moderate partial agonists. Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) results demonstrated binding affinity of 1a, 1i and 3a towards PPARγ. Furthermore, docking experiments revealed that BTZDs interact with PPARγ through a distinct binding mode, forming primarily hydrophobic contacts with the ligand-binding pocket (LBD) without direct H-bonding interactions to key residues in H12 that are characteristic of full agonists. In addition, 1a, 1i and 3a significantly improved hyperglycemia and hyperlipidaemia in streptozotocin-nicotinamide (STZ-NA)-induced diabetic rats at a dose of 36 mg/kg/day administered orally for 15 days. Histopathological investigations revealed that microscopic architecture of pancreatic and hepatic cells improved in BTZDs-treated diabetic rats. These findings suggested that 1a, 1i and 3a are very promising pharmacological agents by selectively targeting PPARγ for further development in the clinical treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzylidene Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • PPAR gamma / agonists
  • Protein Conformation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thiazolidinediones / pharmacology


  • Benzylidene Compounds
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • PPAR gamma
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • 2,4-thiazolidinedione
  • Glucose