Soluble neuroprotective antioxidant uric acid analogs ameliorate ischemic brain injury in mice

Frank Haberman, Sung Chun Tang, Thiruma V. Arumugam, Dong Hoon Hyun, Qian Sheng Yu, Roy G. Cutler, Zhihong Guo, Harold W. Holloway, Nigel H. Greig, Mark P. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Uric acid is a major antioxidant in the blood of humans that can protect cultured neurons against oxidative and metabolic insults. However, uric acid has a very low solubility which compromises its potential clinical use for neurodegenerative disorders. Here we describe the synthesis, characterization and preclinical development of neuroprotective methyl- and sulfur-containing analogs of uric acid with increased solubility. In vitro and cell culture screening identified 1,7-dimethyluric acid (mUA2) and 6,8-dithiouric acid (sUA2) as two analogs with high antioxidant and neuroprotective activities. When administered intravenously in mice, uric acid analogs mUA2 and sUA2 lessened damage to the brain and improved functional outcome in an ischemia-reperfusion mouse model of stroke. Analogs sUA2 and mUA2 were also effective in reducing damage to the cerebral cortex when administered up to 4 h after stroke onset in a permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion mouse model. These findings suggest a therapeutic potential for soluble analogs of uric acid in the treatment of stroke and related neurodegenerative conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-323
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroMolecular Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by the National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program. We thank Mohammed R Mughal for managing the mouse colony.


  • Middle cerebral artery occlusion
  • Oxygen and glucose deprivation
  • Permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Uric acid analogues


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