(HealthDay News) – A modified version of fluorene counteracts amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide toxicity, and is more potent than the original fluorene compounds.

Expanding on their previous work showing that fluorene compounds, originally developed as amyloid imaging agents, could disrupt Aβ oligomer (AβO) species, Jitka Petrlova, PhD, from the University of California in Davis, and colleagues applied electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to investigate the binding and influence of fluorenes on AβO structure and dynamics. In addition, they synthesized and examined the effect of a spin-labeled fluorene (SLF) containing a pyrroline nitroxide group on cultured neurons and Aβ.

The researchers found that the SLF protected against toxicity induced by AβO and reduced AβO accumulation in cultured neurons. SLF could also bind Aβ, disrupt aggregates of AβO, and scavenge free radicals, all more potently than the original compounds.

“The results reported here demonstrate how SLFs help elucidate the mechanism of fluorene action and, more importantly, that SLFs have superior potency in alleviating AβO-induced toxicity,” Petrlova and colleagues conclude.

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