Identification of a Thyroid Hormone Derivative as a Pleiotropic Agent for the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2021 Dec 19;14(12):1330. doi: 10.3390/ph14121330.


The identification of effective pharmacological tools for Alzheimer's disease (AD) represents one of the main challenges for therapeutic discovery. Due to the variety of pathological processes associated with AD, a promising route for pharmacological intervention involves the development of new chemical entities that can restore cellular homeostasis. To investigate this strategy, we designed and synthetized SG2, a compound related to the thyroid hormone thyroxine, that shares a pleiotropic activity with its endogenous parent compound, including autophagic flux promotion, neuroprotection, and metabolic reprogramming. We demonstrate herein that SG2 acts in a pleiotropic manner to induce recovery in a C. elegans model of AD based on the overexpression of Aβ42 and improves learning abilities in the 5XFAD mouse model of AD. Further, in vitro ADME-Tox profiling and toxicological studies in zebrafish confirmed the low toxicity of this compound, which represents a chemical starting point for AD drug development.

Keywords: 5XFAD mice; Alzheimer’s disease; C. elegans; autophagy; drug discovery; polypharmacology; zebrafish.