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Antileishmanial Activity of Ezetimibe: Inhibition of Sterol Biosynthesis, In Vitro Synergy with Azoles, and Efficacy in Experimental Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.


ABSTRACT: Leishmaniasis affects mainly low-income populations in tropical regions. Radical innovation in drug discovery is time-consuming and expensive, imposing severe restrictions on the ability to launch new chemical entities for the treatment of neglected diseases. Drug repositioning is an attractive strategy for addressing a specific demand more easily. In this project, we have evaluated the antileishmanial activities of 30 drugs currently in clinical use for various morbidities. Ezetimibe, clinically used to reduce intestinal cholesterol absorption in dyslipidemic patients, killed Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 30 ?M. Morphological analysis revealed that ezetimibe caused the parasites to become rounded, with multiple nuclei and flagella. Analysis by gas chromatography (GC)-mass spectrometry (MS) showed that promastigotes treated with ezetimibe had smaller amounts of C-14-demethylated sterols, and accumulated more cholesterol and lanosterol, than untreated promastigotes. We then evaluated the combination of ezetimibe with well-known antileishmanial azoles. The fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) indicated synergy when ezetimibe was combined with ketoconazole or miconazole. The activity of ezetimibe against intracellular amastigotes was confirmed, with an IC50 of 20 ?M, and ezetimibe reduced the IC90s of ketoconazole and miconazole from 11.3 and 11.5 ?M to 4.14 and 8.25 ?M, respectively. Subsequently, we confirmed the activity of ezetimibe in vivo, showing that it decreased lesion development and parasite loads in murine cutaneous leishmaniasis. We concluded that ezetimibe has promising antileishmanial activity and should be considered in combination with azoles in further preclinical and clinical studies.

SUBMITTER: Andrade-Neto VV 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5075094 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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