Synthesis and Pharmacological Evaluation of Novel Triazole-Pyrimidine Hybrids as Potential Neuroprotective and Anti-neuroinflammatory Agents

Pharm Res. 2023 Jan;40(1):167-185. doi: 10.1007/s11095-022-03429-1. Epub 2022 Nov 14.


Objective: Neuroprotection is a precise target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, ischemic stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Pyrimidine and its derivatives have been proven to use antiviral, anticancer, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activity prompting us to study the neuroprotection and anti-inflammatory activity of the triazole-pyrimidine hybrid on human microglia and neuronal cell model.

Methods: A series of novel triazole-pyrimidine-based compounds were designed, synthesized and characterized by mass spectra, 1HNMR, 13CNMR, and a single X-Ray diffraction analysis. Further, the neuroprotective, anti-neuroinflammatory activity was evaluated by cell viability assay (MTT), Elisa, qRT-PCR, western blotting, and molecular docking.

Results: The molecular results revealed that triazole-pyrimidine hybrid compounds have promising neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. Among the 14 synthesized compounds, ZA3-ZA5, ZB2-ZB6, and intermediate S5 showed significant anti-neuroinflammatory properties through inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production in LPS-stimulated human microglia cells. From 14 compounds, six (ZA2 to ZA6 and intermediate S5) exhibited promising neuroprotective activity by reduced expression of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone, BIP, and apoptosis marker cleaved caspase-3 in human neuronal cells. Also, a molecular docking study showed that lead compounds have favorable interaction with active residues of ATF4 and NF-kB proteins.

Conclusion: The possible mechanism of action was observed through the inhibition of ER stress, apoptosis, and the NF-kB inflammatory pathway. Thus, our study strongly indicates that the novel scaffolds of triazole-pyrimidine-based compounds can potentially be developed as neuroprotective and anti-neuroinflammatory agents.

Keywords: apoptosis; endoplasmic reticulum stress; neuroinflammation; oxygen–glucose deprivation; triazole-pyrimidine derivatives.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Microglia / pathology
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Neuroprotection*
  • Neuroprotective Agents* / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents* / pharmacology
  • Pyrimidines / metabolism
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacology
  • Triazoles / metabolism
  • Triazoles / pharmacology


  • NF-kappa B
  • Triazoles
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Pyrimidines
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Lipopolysaccharides