In continuation of our efforts to discover novel nitric oxide-releasing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NO-NSAIDs) as potentially “Safe NSAIDs,” we report herein the design, synthesis and evaluation of 21 new NO-NSAIDs of commonly used NSAIDs such as aspirin, diclofenac, naproxen, flurbiprofen, ketoprofen, sulindac, ibuprofen and indomethacin. These prodrugs have NO-releasing disulfide linker attached to a parent NSAID via linkages such as an ester (compounds 9–16), a double ester (compounds 17–24), an imide (compounds 25–30) or an amide (compounds 31–33). Among these NO-NSAIDs, the ester-containing NO-aspirin (9), NO-diclofenac (10), NO-naproxen (11), and the imide-containing NO-aspirin (25), NO-flurbiprofen (27) and NO-ketoprofen (28) have shown promising oral absorption, anti-inflammatory activity and NO-releasing property, and also protected rats from NSAID-induced gastric damage. NO-aspirin compound 25, on further co-evaluation with aspirin at equimolar doses, exhibited comparable dose-dependent pharmacokinetics, inhibition of gastric mucosal prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis and analgesic properties to those of aspirin, but retained its gastric-sparing properties even after doubling its oral dose. These promising NO-NSAIDs could therefore represent a new class of potentially “Safe NSAIDs” for the treatment of arthritic pain and inflammation.
2012 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan