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Antiprotozoal Effects of the Tomato Tetrasaccharide Glycoalkaloid Tomatine and the Aglycone Tomatidine on Mucosal Trichomonads

Liu, Jenny, Kanetake, Sierra, Wu, Yun-Hsuan, Tam, Christina, Cheng, Luisa W., Land, Kirkwood M., Friedman, Mendel
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2016 v.64 no.46 pp. 8806-8810
Trichomonas vaginalis, Tritrichomonas foetus, cats, cattle, drugs, glycoalkaloids, growth retardation, humans, inhibitory concentration 50, metronidazole, pathogens, swine, tomatoes, trichomoniasis
The present study investigated the inhibitory effects of the commercial tetrasaccharide tomato glycoalkaloid tomatine and the aglycone tomatidine on three mucosal pathogenic protozoa that are reported to infect humans, cattle, and cats, respectively: Trichomonas vaginalis strain G3, Tritrichomonas foetus strain D1, and Tritrichomonas foetus strain C1. A preliminary screen showed that tomatine at 100 μM concentration completely inhibited the growth of all three trichomonads. In contrast, the inhibition of all three pathogens by tomatidine was much lower, suggesting the involvement of the lycotetraose carbohydrate side chain in the mechanism of inhibition. Midpoints of concentration–response sigmoid plots of tomatine on the three strains correspond to IC₅₀ values, the concentration that inhibits 50% of growth of the pathogenic protozoa. The concentration data were used to calculate the IC₅₀ values for G3, D1, and C1 of 7.9, 1.9, and 2.2 μM, respectively. The results show an approximately 4-fold variation from the lowest to the highest value (lowest activity). Although the inhibition by tomatine was not as effective as that of the medicinal drug metronidazole, the relatively low IC₅₀ values for both T. vaginalis and T. foetus indicated tomatine as a possible natural alternative therapeutic for trichomoniasis in humans and food-producing (cattle and pigs) and domestic (cats) animals. Because tomatine has the potential to serve as a new antiprotozoan functional (medical) food, the distribution of this glycoalkaloid in tomatoes and suggestions for further research are discussed.