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The synthesis and structure elucidation of three new chiral xanthone (9H-xanthon-9-one) derivatives (2-4) are fully reported. The coupling reactions of the synthesized building block 6-methoxy-9-oxo-9H-xanthene-2-carboxylic acid (1) with two enantiomerically pure amino alcohols ((S)-(+)-valinol and (S)-(+)-leucinol) and one amine ((S)-(-)-α-4-dimethylbenzylamine), were carried out using the coupling reagent O-(benzotriazol-1-yl-)-N,N,N',N'-tetramethylluronium tetrafluoroborate (TBTU). The coupling reactions were performed with yields higher than 97% and enantiomeric excess higher than 99%. The structures of the compounds were established by IR, MS, and NMR ((1)H, (13)C, HSQC, and HMBC) techniques. Taking into account that these new chiral xanthone derivatives have molecular moieties structurally very similar to local anaesthetics, the ability to block compound action potentials (CAP) at the isolated rat sciatic nerve was also investigated. Nerve conduction blockade might result from a selective interference with Na(+) ionic currents or from a non-selective modification of membrane stabilizing properties. Thus, the mechanism, by which the three chiral xanthone derivatives cause conduction blockade in the rat sciatic nerve and their ability to prevent hypotonic haemolysis, given that erythrocytes are non-excitable cells devoid of voltage-gated Na(+) channels, are also described. Data suggest that nerve conduction blockade caused by newly-synthesized xanthone derivatives might result predominantly from an action on Na(+) ionic currents. This effect can be dissociated from their ability to stabilize cell membranes, which became apparent only upon increasing the concentration of compounds 2-4 to the higher micromolar range. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Carla Fernandes, Laura Oliveira, Maria Elizabeth Tiritan, Luís Leitao, Angelo Pozzi, José Bernardo Noronha-Matos, Paulo Correia-de-Sá, Madalena M Pinto. Synthesis of new chiral xanthone derivatives acting as nerve conduction blockers in the rat sciatic nerve. European journal of medicinal chemistry. 2012 Sep;55:1-11

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PMID: 22819594

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