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Antileishmanial compounds from Connarus suberosus: Metabolomics, isolation and mechanism of action.


ABSTRACT: Leishmaniasis is a disease impacting public health worldwide due to its high incidence, morbidity and mortality. Available treatments are costly, lengthy and toxic, not to mention the problem of parasite resistance. The development of alternative treatments is warranted and natural products demonstrate promising activity. This study investigated the activity of Connarus suberosus extracts and compounds against Leishmania species. Several C. suberosus extracts were tested against L. amazonensis promastigotes. Active and inactive extracts were analyzed by UHPLC-MS and data evaluated using a metabolomics platform, revealing an unknown neoflavonoid (connarin, 3), isolated together with the pterocarpans: hemileiocarpin (1) and leiocarpin (2). The aforementioned compounds (1-3), together with the benzoquinones: rapanone (4), embelin (5) and suberonone (6) previously isolated by our group from the same species, were tested against: (i) L. amazonensis and L. infantum promastigotes, and (ii) L. amazonensis intracellular amastigotes, with the most active compound (3) also tested against L. infantum amastigotes. Cytotoxicity against murine peritoneal macrophages was also investigated. Compounds 2 and 3 presented an IC50 33.8 ?M and 11.4 ?M for L. amazonensis promastigotes; and 44.3 ?M and 13.3 ?M for L. infantum promastigotes, respectively. For L. amazonensis amastigotes, the IC50 of 2 was 20.4 ?M with a selectivity index (SI) of 5.7, while the IC50 of 3 was 2.9 ?M with an SI of 6.3. For L. infantum amastigotes, the IC50 of 3 was 7.7 ?M. Compounds 2 and 3 presented activity comparable with the miltefosine positive control, with compound 3 found to be 2-4 times more active than the positive control, depending on the Leishmania species and form. The extracts and isolated compounds showed moderate toxicity against macrophages. Compounds 2 and 3 altered the mitochondrial membrane potential (??m) and neutral lipid body accumulation, while 2 also impacted plasma membrane permeabilization, culminating in cellular disorder and parasite death. Transmission electron microscopy of L. amazonensis promastigotes treated with compound 3 confirmed the presence of lipid bodies. Leiocarpin (2) and connarin (3) demonstrated antileishmanial activity. This study provides knowledge of natural products with antileishmanial activity, paving the way for prototype development to fight this neglected tropical disease.

SUBMITTER: Morais LS 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7647111 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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