Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Shijun Zhang

Second Advisor

Glen Kellogg


Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder and the leading cause of dementia. The disease manifests via several pathologies including neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, metal ion dyshomeostasis, and cell death. To address the multifaceted nature of this disorder, the design of several diverse compounds, targeting many pathological effects, was generated. First, a series of compounds based on curcumin and diosgenin were synthesized following the bivalent design strategy. Two compounds were discovered to have neuroprotective ability, anti-oxidative function, and anti-Aß oligomerization (AßO) properties. A second set of molecules was also designed, wherein a hybrid compound strategy was utilized. Three hybrids were to shown to protect MC65 cells from Aß-induced toxicity and to have significant anti-oxidative activity. Mechanistic studies propose that protection is through disruption of interactions between AßOs and partner proteins. Furthermore, one hybrid was also shown to be able to pass the BBB. Lastly, studies of glyburide, an anti-diabetic medication, have shown an off-target anti-inflammatory effect specific for the NLRP3 inflammasome, which has been implicated in AD development. Therefore, a series of glyburide analogs were synthesized and characterized. One analog was able to successfully inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome and reduce IL-1ß expression without affecting blood glucose. In vivo studies demonstrated an ability to prevent or ameliorate adverse inflammation-related outcomes in murine inflammatory models. Altogether, these investigations have yielded three novel series of compounds, all capable of modifying Alzheimer’s disease pathology. These results warrant future investigations into the development, optimization, and characterization of these analogs as potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission