New lipophilic hydroxycinnamic acid based derivatives were designed and synthesized and their antioxidant and neuroprotective activities evaluated. The chemical modification introduced in the cinnamic acid scaffold leads to compounds with amplified lipophilicity and in general with increased antioxidant activity when compared to natural models (caffeic and ferulic acids). The compounds did not display cytotoxicity and present a significant neuroprotective effect against 6-OH-DA induced damage to SH-SY5Y cells. Compound 6 stands out as an efficient radical scavenger and iron(II) chelator that ensures drug-like properties. Moreover, neuroprotection against oxidative damage was observed even at low concentration (1 μM). Therefore, compound 6 developed by a biology-oriented approach displays a combination of important features for a further optimization process that will generate a new effective antioxidant with therapeutic application for oxidative-stress-related events, namely neurodegenerative diseases
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