Relationship between Antioxidant Activity and Ligand Basicity in the Dipicolinate Series of Oxovanadium(IV) and Dioxovanadium(V) Complexes

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 13;22(18):9886. doi: 10.3390/ijms22189886.


Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of many serious diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, stroke and myocardial infarction. In the body's natural biochemical processes, harmful free radicals are formed, which can be removed with the help of appropriate enzymes, a balanced diet or the supply of synthetic antioxidant substances such as flavonoids, vitamins or anthocyanins to the body. Due to the growing demand for antioxidant substances, new complex compounds of transition metal ions with potential antioxidant activity are constantly being sought. In this study, four oxovanadium(IV) and dioxovanadium(V) dipicolinate (dipic) complexes with 1,10-phenanthroline (phen), 2,2'-bipyridyl (bipy) and the protonated form of 2-phenylpyridine (2-phephyH): (1) [VO(dipic)(H2O)2]·2 H2O, (2) [VO(dipic)(phen)]·3 H2O, (3) [VO(dipic)(bipy)]·H2O and (4) [VOO(dipic)](2-phepyH)·H2O were synthesized including one new complex, so far unknown and not described in the literature, i.e., [VOO(dipic)](2-phepyH)·H2O. The oxovanadium(IV) dipicolinate complexes with 1,10-phenanthroline and 2,2'-bipyridyl have been characterized by several physicochemical methods: NMR, MALDI-TOF-MS, IR, but new complex [VOO(dipic)](2-phepyH)·H2O has been examined by XRD to confirm its structure. The antioxidant activities of four complexes have been examined by the nitrotetrazolium blue (NBT) method towards superoxide anion. All complexes exhibit high reactivity with superoxide anion and [VOO(dipic)](2-phepyH)·H2O has higher antioxidant activity than L-ascorbic acid. Our studies confirmed that high basicity of the auxiliary ligand increases the reactivity of the complex with the superoxide radical.

Keywords: 2-phenylpyridine; antioxidant activity; oxovanadium(IV) complexes; superoxide anion.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Ascorbic Acid / chemistry
  • Coordination Complexes / chemistry
  • Ligands
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Oxides / chemistry*
  • Picolinic Acids / chemistry*
  • Superoxides / chemistry
  • Uranium / chemistry*
  • Vanadates / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Coordination Complexes
  • Ligands
  • Oxides
  • Picolinic Acids
  • dioxouranium(VI)
  • Superoxides
  • oxovanadium IV
  • Vanadates
  • Uranium
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • dipicolinic acid