Caniferolide A, a Macrolide from Streptomyces caniferus, Attenuates Neuroinflammation, Oxidative Stress, Amyloid-Beta, and Tau Pathology in Vitro

Mol Pharm. 2019 Apr 1;16(4):1456-1466. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.8b01090. Epub 2019 Mar 11.


The macrolide caniferolide A was isolated from extracts of a culture of the marine-derived actinomycete Streptomyces caniferus, and its ability to ameliorate Alzheimer's disease (AD) hallmarks was determined. The compound reduced neuroinflammatory markers in BV2 microglial cells activated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), being able to block NFκB-p65 translocation to the nucleus and to activate the Nrf2 pathway. It also produced a decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α), reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide release and inhibited iNOS, JNK, and p38 activities. Moreover, the compound blocked BACE1 activity and attenuated Aβ-activation of microglia by drastically diminishing ROS levels. The phosphorylated state of the tau protein was evaluated in SH-SY5Y tau441 cells. Caniferolide A reduced Thr212 and Ser214 phosphorylation by targeting p38 and JNK MAPK kinases. On the other side, the antioxidant properties of the macrolide were determined in an oxidative stress model with SH-SY5Y cells treated with H2O2. The compound diminished ROS levels and increased cell viability and GSH content by activating the nuclear factor Nrf2. Finally, the neuroprotective ability of the compound was confirmed in two trans-well coculture systems with activated BV2 cells (both with LPS and Aβ) and wild type and transfected SH-SY5Y cells. The addition of caniferolide A to microglial cells produced a significant increase in the survival of neuroblastoma in both cases. These results indicate that the compound is able to target many pathological markers of AD, suggesting that caniferolide A could be an interesting drug lead for a polypharmacological approach to the illness.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; NFκB; Nrf2; Streptomyces; p38.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Macrolides / chemistry
  • Macrolides / pharmacology*
  • Neuroblastoma / metabolism
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology
  • Neuroblastoma / prevention & control*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Streptomyces / chemistry*
  • tau Proteins / metabolism*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Macrolides
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • tau Proteins