Pharmacological Screening of Substituted 1, 4 Dihydropyrimidines
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Pharmacological research is essential for the advancement of treatment therapies to combat diseases that plague mankind. Pyrimidines have been a subject under investigation by medicinal chemists for many years due to their interesting pharmacological properties. In previous studies, pyrimidines and their derivatives have been reported to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, analgesic, and antitumour activities amongst other biological activities. Although there has been a significant amount of research carried out on these heterocycles, there will always be a continuous need for the discovery of novel synthetic drugs which have a higher degree of potency and fewer side effects. Hence, this study was undertaken to determine the pharmacological activities of eight novel 1, 4 dihydropyrimidine analogues (DHPM 1 – 8), that have been synthesized in our laboratory. The dihydropyrimidines were synthesized and characterized and thereafter evaluated for in vitro antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxicity and apoptotic activities. The compounds also underwent a safety study. Antimicrobial activity was evaluated using the disk diffusion assay; compounds displaying superior activity were subjected to further analysis to establish the minimum inhibitory concentration. Overall compounds DHPM 7 and 8 showed the best antibacterial activity against Gram positive bacteria. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for DHPM 7 against the Gram positive organisms (B.cereus, S.aureus and B.coagulans) was 0.75 µg/mL; however DHPM 7 had a MIC of 0.37 µg/mL against M. luteus. DHPM 8 displayed an MIC of 0.75 µg/mL against B.cereus, S.aureus, M.luteus, S.faecalis and B.coagulans. Antioxidant activity was assessed using the DPPH method. DHPM 2 showed outstanding free radical scavenging capacity of 90.63% at a concentration of 1 mg/mL. The DHPM 1 - 8 were analysed for their lipoxygenase inhibitory activity. Excellent inhibition ranging from 59.37 ± 0.6 to 81.19 ± 0.94% was demonstrated. The inhibitory activity was elucidated by a molecular docking study against the lipoxygenase enzyme (PDB code = 3V99) using the MOE 2013.08 and Leadit 2.1.2 software and high affinities were demonstrated. DHPM 1 - 8 were tested for cytotoxic activity against two human cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and UACC-62 by means of the MTT assay. It was observed for the MCF-7 cell line, DHPM 1, 4, 6, 7 and 8 displayed cytotoxicity above 89% at 50 µg/mL. The DHPMs at 50 µg/mL were noted to be very effective against the Melanoma cell line with DHPM 2 having a cytotoxicity value of 82.62% and DHPM 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 exhibiting cytotoxicity greater than 96%. Only slight inhibition of the proliferation of PBMC’s was noted. IC50 values of DHPM 1-8 were determined and the best activity overall was displayed by DHPM 8. The IC50 of DHPM 8 was 0.92 ± 0.09 and 1.97 ± 0.08 µM against MCF - 7 and UACC - 62 cell lines, respectively. The compounds that displayed toxicity towards the UACC - 62 cell line were investigated for their apoptotic inducing potential. The apoptotic studies were performed by flow cytometry using the following assays; Annexin V, JC-1 and Caspase -3 assays. The effect of these compounds was compared to a known anti-cancer drug, Camptothecin. On evaluation of the mechanism of action of the compounds, it was found that most compounds are using apoptotic pathways for cell death. Our studies have identified antimicrobial activity (DHPM 1-8) against Gram positive organisms, high antioxidant activity (DHPM 2), anti-inflammatory activity (DHPM 1-8) and anticancer activity (DHPM 1-8) against UACC-62 and MCF-7 cells. DHPM 1-8 were found to have no toxicity at 100 µg/mL in the brine shrimp assay and hence are probably safe as therapeutic agents. Furthermore molecular docking studies confirmed the activity of DHPM 1-8 as potential lipoxygenase inhibitors. DHPM 1-8 are novel compounds with great potential to be developed into chemotherapeutic agents.