Synthesis and biological evaluation of picroside derivatives as hepatoprotective agents

<p><i>Picrorhizae Rhizoma</i> as a hepatoprotective herb, has been applied for thousands of years, and picroside was proved to be its active constituent. In this study, twelve derivatives of picroside were synthesized and the hepatoprotective activity of the derivatives was evaluated on SMMC-7721 cells. Six out of the derivatives had shown a better protective effect on H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>-induced SMMC-7221 cells than picroside, and the activity of two derivatives (<b>2</b> and <b>4</b>) was stronger than that of the reference compound, silybin. Compound <b>2</b> shown the strongest protective effect (EC<sub>50</sub> = 6.064 ± 1.295 μM).</p>