Protective peptides that are orally active and mechanistically nonchiral

Douglas E. Brenneman, Catherine Y. Spong, Janet M. Hauser, Daniel Abebe, Albert Pinhasov, Tania Golian, Illana Gozes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Previous reports identified two peptides that mimic the action of neuroprotective proteins derived from astrocytes. These peptides, NAPVSIPQ and SALLRSIPA, prevent neuronal cell death produced by electrical blockade, N-methyl-D-aspartate, and β-amyloid peptide (25-35). In the present study, all D-amino acid peptides of NAPVSIPQ and SALLRSIPA were synthesized and compared respectively to the corresponding all L-amino acid peptides. In rat cerebral cortical test cultures cotreated with I μM tetrodotoxin, the D-amino acid peptides produced similar potency and efficacy for neuroprotection as that observed for their respective L-amino acid peptides. Since all these peptides tested individually exhibited attenuation of efficacy at concentrations of >10 pM, combinations of these peptides were tested for possible synergies. Equimolar D-NAPVSIPQ and D-SALLRSIPA combination treatment produced potent neuroprotection (EC50, 0.03 fM) that did not attenuate with increasing concentrations. Similarly, the combination of L-NAPVSIPQ and D-SALLRSIPA also had high potency (EC50, 0.07 fM) without attenuation of efficacy. Combined administration of peptides was tested in a model of fetal alcohol syndrome and in a model of learning impairment: apolipoprotein E knockout mice. Intraperitoneal administration of D-NAPV-SIPQ plus D-SALLRSIPA to pregnant mice (embryonic day 8) attenuated fetal demise after treatment with an acute high dose of alcohol. Furthermore, oral administration of D-NAPVSIPQ plus D-SALLRSIPA significantly increased fetal survival after maternal alcohol treatment. Apolipoprotein E knockout mice injected with D-NAPVSIPQ plus D-SALLRSIPA showed improved performance in the Morris water maze. These studies suggest therapeutic potential for the combined administration of neuroprotective peptides that can act through a mechanism independent of chiral recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1190-1197
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


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