Cyclic voltammetric studies on nitro radical anion formation from megazol and some related nitroimidazole derivatives
Megazol (2-amino-5-(1-methyl-5-nitro-2-imdazolyl)-1,3,4-thiadiazol, CAS 19622-55-0) and related nitroimidazole compounds are being tested as antichagasic drugs. Little is known on the mode of action of megazol. However, there is evidence that one-electron reduction of megazol to the corresponding nitro radical anion is a key step in the reaction mechanism. Consequently, this paper is focused on the cyclic voltammetric behaviour of megazol and related nitroimidazole derivatives with the aim of revealing the formation and stability of the corresponding nitro radical anions. All the compounds studied produce a well resolved nitro/nitro radical anion couple. The resolution of the couple was improved with the addition of tetrabutylammonium. ions which hinders the protonation of the nitro radical anion at the electrode surface, thus enhancing the stability of the nitro radical anion. Only megazol produced a cyclic voltammogram distorted by the presence of a pre-peak due to strong adsorption of the corresponding nitro radical anion. The pre-peak occurs at potentials more positive than the diffusion controlled peak because the Gibbs energy of adsorption of the nitro radical anion makes the reduction of megazol to the adsorbed nitro radical anion easier than to the radical anion in solution. The sulphur atom in the thiadiazole ring plays a crucial role in the adsorption phenomena. Using the cyclic voltammetry theory for the disproportionation reaction, we have calculated the second-order decay rate constant, k(2), and the half-life time, t(1/2), for all the nitro radical anions of the studied nitroimidazole derivatives. The values obtained were compared with those of the corresponding nitro radical anions obtained from nifurtimox and benznidazole, the classic antichagasic drugs. Also, our results show that cyclic voltammetry is a good alternative to the classic pulse radiolysis method to obtain reliable values of the E-7(1) parameter for nitro radical anions.