Main content area

Antifilarial activity of azadirachtin fuelled through reactive oxygen species induced apoptosis: a thorough molecular study on Setaria cervi

Mukherjee, N., Joardar, N., Sinha Babu, S.P.
Journal of helminthology 2019 v.93 no.5 pp. 519-528
Azadirachta indica, Bancroftian filariasis, DNA, DNA fragmentation, Setaria cervi, acridine orange, adults, apoptosis, azadirachtin, dyes, gene expression, gene expression regulation, histology, in vitro studies, lethal concentration 50, lethal dose 50, microfilariae, nematicides, parasites, reactive oxygen species, staining, therapeutics, translation (genetics)
Efficacious therapeutic strategies against lymphatic filariasis are always sought after. However, natural products are a promising resource for developing effective antifilarial agents. Azadirachtin, a significant tetranortriterpenoid phytocompound found in Azadirachta indica, was evaluated in vitro for antifilarial potential against the filarial parasite Setaria cervi. Dye exclusion and MTT assay confirmed the antifilarial potential of azadirachtin against S. cervi with a median lethal dose (LC₅₀) of 6.28 μg/ml for microfilariae (mf), and 9.55 μg/ml for adult parasites. Morphological aberrations were prominent in the histological sections of the azadirachtin-exposed parasites. Moreover, alterations in the reactive oxygen species (ROS) parameters in treated parasites were evident. Induction of apoptosis in treated parasites was confirmed by DNA laddering, acridine orange (AO)/ethidium bromide (EtBr) double staining and in situ DNA fragmentation. The downregulation of anti-apoptotic CED-9 and upregulation of proapoptotic EGL-1, CED-4 and CED-3 at both the transcription and translation levels confirmed apoptosis execution at the molecular level. Changes in the gene expressions of nuc-1, cps-6 and crn-1 further clarified the molecular cause of DNA degradation. Furthermore, azadirachtin was found to be non-toxic in both in vitro and in vivo toxicity analyses. Therefore, the experimental evidence detailed the pharmacological effectiveness of azadirachtin as a possible therapeutic agent against filariasis.