In this paper, citronellal, vanillin and pyridoxal thiosemicarbazones were modified with polar substituents, namely ethylmorpholine and glucose, to increase their polarity and compare the effects of these moieties on their biological activity. Altogether, nine ligands were synthesized and for each of them also their copper(II) and nickel(II) complexes were prepared and used for the biological tests. Eventually, assays on proliferation inhibition were conducted using leukemic cell line U937, already used as a model for previous citronellal thiosemicarbazone tests. Biological tests were also performed on solid tumor cell line HT29. From the first screenings, two of the metal complexes showed remarkable interesting properties, and, therefore, were also tested for histosensitivity.
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