New C-23 modified of Silybin and 2,3-dehydrosilybin: synthesis and preliminary evaluation of antioxidant properties

Armando Zarrelli, Alessandro Sgambato ,Valentina Petito , Lorenzo De Napoli, Lucio Previtera, and Giovanni Di Fabio,

Silybin is the major flavonolignan of silymarin and it displays a plethora of biological effects, generally ascribed to its antioxidant properties. Herein we’ll describe an efficient synthetic strategy to obtain a variety of new and more water-soluble silybin and 2,3-dehydrosilybin (DHS) derivatives in which the 23-hydroxyl group was converted to a sulfate, phosphodiester, or amine group, using a solution-phase approach. Furthermore a new and efficient method for the preparation of DHS from silybin was developed and optimised.

The antioxidant properties of the new compounds were evaluated in a cellular model in vivo and they displayed an antioxidant activity comparable to or higher than silybin and DHS, being able to prevent H2O2-induced generation of intracellular ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). Most of the derivatives also displayed a better hydrophilicity while retaining the biological activities of silybin and they might broaden the in vivo applications of this class of natural compounds.