Aldose reductase (AR) catalyzes the conversion of glucose to sorbitol in a NADPH-dependent reaction, thereby increasing the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Since AR activation is linked to redox dysregulation and cell damage in neurodegenerative diseases, AR inhibitors (ARIs) constitute promising therapeutic tools for the treatment of these disorders. Among these compounds, the novel substituted triazinoindole derivatives cemtirestat (CMTI) and COTI, as well as the clinically employed epalrestat (EPA) and the pyridoindole-antioxidant stobadine (STB), were tested in both PC12 cells and BV2 microglia exposed to four different neurotoxic models. These include (1) oxidative stress with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), (2) mitochondrial complex IV inhibition with NaN3, (3) endoplasmic reticulum-stress and lipotoxicity induced by palmitic acid/bovine serum albumin (PAM/BSA), and (4) advanced carbonyl compound lipotoxicity by 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE). All toxic compounds decreased cell viability and increased ROS formation in both PC12 and BV2 cells in a concentration-dependent manner (1-1000 mu M; NaN3 < H2O2 approximate to PAM/BSA < 4-HNE). In PC12 cells, EPA increased cell viability in all toxic models only at 1 mu M, whereas CMTI restored baseline viability in all toxic models. COTI afforded protection against lipotoxicity, while STB only prevented H2O2-induced toxicity. Except for the 4-HNE model, EPA prevented ROS generation in all other toxic models, whereas CMTI, COTI, and STB prevented ROS production in all toxic models. In BV2 cells, EPA and CMTI restored baseline cell viability in all toxic models tested, while COTI and STB did not prevent the loss of viability in the NaN3 model. All ARIs and STB efficiently prevented ROS formation in all toxic models in a concentration-independent manner. The differential protective effects evoked by the novel ARIs and STB on the toxic models tested herein provide novel and relevant comparative evidence for the design of specific therapeutic strategies against neurodegenerative events associated with neurological disorders.