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Evaluation of the in vitro and in vivo antileishmanial activity of a chloroquinolin derivative against Leishmania species capable of causing tegumentary and visceral leishmaniasis

Soyer, Tauane G., Mendonça, Débora V.C., Tavares, Grasiele S.V., Lage, Daniela P., Dias, Daniel S., Ribeiro, Patrícia A.F., Perin, Luisa, Ludolf, Fernanda, Coelho, Vinicio T.S., Ferreira, Andreza C.G., Neves, Pedro H.A.S., Matos, Guilherme F., Chávez-Fumagalli, Miguel A., Coimbra, Elaine S., Pereira, Guilherme R., Coelho, Eduardo A.F., Antinarelli, Luciana M.R.
Experimental parasitology 2019 v.199 pp. 30-37
Leishmania amazonensis, Leishmania infantum, amastigotes, amphotericin B, antileishmanial properties, cytotoxicity, drugs, liver, lymph nodes, macrophages, mechanism of action, membrane potential, mice, mitochondrial membrane, parasite load, parasites, parasitism, promastigotes, reactive oxygen species, spleen, therapeutics, visceral leishmaniasis
The treatment against leishmaniasis presents problems, since the currently used drugs are toxic and/or have high costs. In addition, parasite resistance has increased. As a consequence, in this study, a chloroquinolin derivative, namely 7-chloro-N,N-dimethylquinolin-4-amine or GF1059, was in vitro and in vivo tested against Leishmania parasites. Experiments were performed to evaluate in vitro antileishmanial activity and cytotoxicity, as well as the treatment of infected macrophages and the inhibition of infection using pre-treated parasites. This study also investigated the GF1059 mechanism of action in L. amazonensis. Results showed that the compound was highly effective against L. infantum and L. amazonensis, presenting a selectivity index of 154.6 and 86.4, respectively, against promastigotes and of 137.6 and 74.3, respectively, against amastigotes. GF1059 was also effective in the treatment of infected macrophages and inhibited the infection of these cells when parasites were pre-incubated with it. The molecule also induced changes in the parasites’ mitochondrial membrane potential and cell integrity, and caused an increase in the reactive oxygen species production in L. amazonensis. Experiments performed in BALB/c mice, which had been previously infected with L. amazonensis promastigotes, and thus treated with GF1059, showed that these animals presented significant reductions in the parasite load when the infected tissue, spleen, liver, and draining lymph node were evaluated. GF1059-treated mice presented both lower parasitism and low levels of enzymatic markers, as compared to those receiving amphotericin B, which was used as control. In conclusion, data suggested that GF1059 can be considered a possible therapeutic target to be tested against leishmaniasis.