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Monocyte phagocytosis of malaria β-haematin in the presence of artemisinin, amodiaquine, chloroquine, doxycycline, primaquine, pyrimethamine and quinine

Cumming, Bridgette M., Goldring, J.P. Dean
Experimental parasitology 2019 v.197 pp. 93-102
absorbance, amino acids, artemisinin, cell lines, chloroquine, doxycycline, erythrocytes, hemoglobin, humans, latex, malaria, metabolism, microscopy, monocytes, parasites, pathogenicity, phagocytosis, pyrimethamine, quinine, screening, spectrophotometers, therapeutics, toxicity
The intraerythrocytic malaria parasite digests haemoglobin to provide amino acids for metabolism and releases toxic haem that is sequestered into haemozoin, a non-toxic, insoluble, crystalline pigment. Following erythrocyte rupture, haemozoin is released into circulation and phagocytosed by monocytes. Phagocytosed haemozoin and antimalarial drugs have both been reported to modulate monocyte functions. This study determined the effects of therapeutic concentrations of seven antimalarial drugs; amodiaquine, artemisinin, chloroquine, doxycycline, primaquine, pyrimethamine and quinine, on the phagocytosis of β-haematin (synthetic haemozoin) by two monocytic cell lines, J774A.1 and U937, and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. A novel spectrophotometric method based on the absorbance (O.D 400 nm) of alkali/SDS treated monocytes containing β-haematin was developed to complement counting phagocytosis with microscopy. The method has potential use for the large scale screening of monocyte phagocytic activity. Artemisinin, quinine, primaquine and pyrimethamine activated β-haematin phagocytosis by 12% or more, whereas amodiaquine, chloroquine and doxycyline inhibited β-haematin phagocytosis. In contrast, antimalarial drugs had minimal inhibitory effects on the phagocytosis of latex beads with only quinine resulting in more than 20% inhibition. Antimalarial drugs appear to alter monocyte phagocytic activity which has implications for the treatment, pathogenicity and adjunct therapies for malaria.