A Nitroalkene Benzoic Acid Derivative Targets Reactive Microglia and Prolongs Survival in an Inherited Model of ALS via NF-κB Inhibition

Academic Article


  • Motor neuron degeneration and neuroinflammation are the most striking pathological features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS currently has no cure and approved drugs have only a modest clinically therapeutic effect in patients. Drugs targeting different deleterious inflammatory pathways in ALS appear as promising therapeutic alternatives. Here, we have assessed the potential therapeutic effect of an electrophilic nitroalkene benzoic acid derivative, (E)-4-(2-nitrovinyl) benzoic acid (BANA), to slow down paralysis progression when administered after overt disease onset in SOD1G93A rats. BANA exerted a significant inhibition of NF-κB activation in NF-κB reporter transgenic mice and microglial cell cultures. Systemic daily oral administration of BANA to SOD1G93A rats after paralysis onset significantly decreased microgliosis and astrocytosis, and significantly reduced the number of NF-κB-p65-positive microglial nuclei surrounding spinal motor neurons. Numerous microglia bearing nuclear NF-κB-p65 were observed in the surrounding of motor neurons in autopsy spinal cords from ALS patients but not in controls, suggesting ALS-associated microglia could be targeted by BANA. In addition, BANA-treated SOD1G93A rats after paralysis onset showed significantly ameliorated spinal motor neuron pathology as well as conserved neuromuscular junction innervation in the skeletal muscle, as compared to controls. Notably, BANA prolonged post-paralysis survival by ~30%, compared to vehicle-treated littermates. These data provide a rationale to therapeutically slow paralysis progression in ALS using small electrophilic compounds such as BANA, through a mechanism involving microglial NF-κB inhibition.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Neurotherapeutics  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ibarburu S; Kovacs M; Varela V; Rodríguez-Duarte J; Ingold M; Invernizzi P; Porcal W; Arévalo AP; Perelmuter K; Bollati-Fogolín M
  • Start Page

  • 309
  • End Page

  • 325
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 1