Computational and Experimental Assessments of Magnolol as a Neuroprotective Agent and Utilization of UiO-66(Zr) as Its Drug Delivery System

ACS Omega. 2021 Sep 15;6(38):24382-24396. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.1c02555. eCollection 2021 Sep 28.


The phenolic natural product magnolol exhibits neuroprotective properties through β-amyloid toxicity in PC-12 cells and ameliorative effects against cognitive deficits in a TgCRND8 transgenic mice model. Its bioavailability and blood-brain barrier crossing ability have been significantly improved using the metal-organic framework (MOF) UiO-66(Zr) as a drug delivery system (DDS). To investigate the neuroprotective effects of the Zr-based DDS, magnolol and magnolol-loaded-UiO-66(Zr) (Mag@UiO-66(Zr)) were evaluated for inhibitory activity against β-secretase and AlCl3-induced neurotoxicity. Due to the moderate inhibition observed for magnolol in vitro, in silico binding studies were explored against β-secretase along with 11 enzymes known to affect Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Favorable binding energies against CDK2, CKD5, MARK, and phosphodiesterase 3B (PDE3B) and dynamically stable complexes were noted through molecular docking and molecular dynamic simulation experiments, respectively. The magnolol-loaded DDS UiO-66(Zr) also showed enhanced neuroprotective activity against two pathological indices, namely, neutrophil infiltration and apoptotic neurons, in addition to damage reversal compared to magnolol. Thus, MOFs are promising drug delivery platforms for poorly bioavailable drugs.

PMID:34604621 | PMC:PMC8482410 | DOI:10.1021/acsomega.1c02555


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