• 3-alkylpyridine alkaloids;
  • Leishmania;
  • marine alkaloids

A series of oxygenated analogues of marine 3-alkylpyridine alkaloids were synthesized, and their leishmanicidal activity was assayed. All compounds were prepared from 3-pyridinepropanol in few steps and in good yields. The key step for the synthesis of these compounds was a classic Williamson etherification under phase-transfer conditions. Besides toxicity in peritoneal macrophages, the compounds exhibited a significant leishmanicidal activity. Of twelve compounds tested, five showed a strong leishmanicidal activity against promastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis and L. braziliensis with IC50 below 10 μm. Compounds 11, 14, 15, and 16 showed a strong leishmanicidal activity on intracellular amastigotes (IC50 values of 2.78; 0.27; 1.03, and 1.33 μm, respectively), which is unlikely to be owing to the activation of nitric oxide production by macrophages.