Comparing the Antileishmanial Activity of Gold(I) and Gold(III) Compounds in L. amazonensis and L. braziliensis in Vitro.
ABSTRACT: A series of mononuclear coordination or organometallic AuI /AuIII complexes (1-9) have been comparatively studied in?vitro for their antileishmanial activity against promastigotes and amastigotes, the clinically relevant parasite form, of Leishmania amazonensis and Leishmania braziliensis. One of the cationic AuI bis-N-heterocyclic carbenes (3) has low EC50 values (ca. 4??M) in promastigotes cells and no toxicity in host macrophages. Together with two other AuIII complexes (6 and 7), the compound is also extremely effective in intracellular amastigotes from L.?amazonensis. Initial mechanistic studies include an evaluation of the gold complexes' effect on L.?amazonensis' plasma membrane integrity.
Project description: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.
Project description:Protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania alternate between flagellated, elongated extracellular promastigotes found in insect vectors, and round-shaped amastigotes enclosed in phagolysosome-like Parasitophorous Vacuoles (PVs) of infected mammalian host cells. Leishmania amazonensis amastigotes occupy large PVs which may contain many parasites; in contrast, single amastigotes of Leishmania major lodge in small, tight PVs, which undergo fission as parasites divide. To determine if PVs of these Leishmania species can fuse with each other, mouse macrophages in culture were infected with non-fluorescent L. amazonensis amastigotes and, 48 h later, superinfected with fluorescent L. major amastigotes or promastigotes. Fusion was investigated by time-lapse image acquisition of living cells and inferred from the colocalization of parasites of the two species in the same PVs. Survival, multiplication and differentiation of parasites that did or did not share the same vacuoles were also investigated. Fusion of PVs containing L. amazonensis and L. major amastigotes was not found. However, PVs containing L. major promastigotes did fuse with pre-established L. amazonensis PVs. In these chimeric vacuoles, L. major promastigotes remained motile and multiplied, but did not differentiate into amastigotes. In contrast, in doubly infected cells, within their own, unfused PVs metacyclic-enriched L. major promastigotes, but not log phase promastigotes--which were destroyed--differentiated into proliferating amastigotes. The results indicate that PVs, presumably customized by L. major amastigotes or promastigotes, differ in their ability to fuse with L. amazonensis PVs. Additionally, a species-specific PV was required for L. major destruction or differentiation--a requirement for which mechanisms remain unknown. The observations reported in this paper should be useful in further studies of the interactions between PVs to different species of Leishmania parasites, and of the mechanisms involved in the recognition and fusion of PVs.
Project description:Ribonuclease H (RNase H), an enzyme that cleaves an RNA sequence base-paired with a complementary DNA sequence, is proposed to be the mediator of antisense phosphorothioate oligonucleotide (S-oligo) lethality in a cell. To understand the role of RNase H in the killing of the parasitic protozoan Leishmania by antisense S-oligos, we expressed an episomal copy of the Trypanosoma brucei RNase H1 gene inside L. amazonensis promastigotes and amastigotes that constitutively express firefly luciferase. Our hypothesis was that S-oligo-directed degradation of target mRNA is facilitated in a cell that has higher RNase H activity. Increased inhibition of luciferase mRNA expression by anti-luciferase S-oligo and by anti-miniexon S-oligo in these stably transfected promastigotes overexpressing RNase H1 was correlated to the higher activity of RNase H in these cells. The efficiency of killing of the RNase H overexpressing amastigotes inside L. amazonensis-infected macrophages by anti-miniexon S-oligo was higher than in the control cells. Thus, RNase H appears to play an important role in the antisense S-oligo-mediated killing of Leishmania. Chemical modification of S-oligos that stimulate RNase H and/or co-treatment of cells with an activator of RNase H may be useful for developing an antisense approach against leishmaniasis. The transgenic Leishmania cells overexpressing RNase H should be a good model system for the antisense-mediated gene expression ablation studies in these parasites.
Project description:Arginase is an enzyme that converts L-arginine to urea and L-ornithine, an essential substrate for the polyamine pathway supporting Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis replication and its survival in the mammalian host. L-arginine is also the substrate of macrophage nitric oxide synthase 2 (NOS2) to produce nitric oxide (NO) that kills the parasite. This competition can define the fate of Leishmania infection.The transcriptomic profiling identified a family of oxidoreductases in L. (L.) amazonensis wild-type (La-WT) and L. (L.) amazonensis arginase knockout (La-arg-) promastigotes and axenic amastigotes. We highlighted the identification of an oxidoreductase that could act as nitric oxide synthase-like (NOS-like), due to the following evidences: conserved domain composition, the participation of NO production during the time course of promastigotes growth and during the axenic amastigotes differentiation, regulation dependence on arginase activity, as well as reduction of NO amount through the NOS activity inhibition. NO quantification was measured by DAF-FM labeling analysis in a flow cytometry.We described an arginase-dependent NOS-like activity in L. (L.) amazonensis and its role in the parasite growth. The increased detection of NO production in the mid-stationary and late-stationary growth phases of La-WT promastigotes could suggest that this production is an important factor to metacyclogenesis triggering. On the other hand, La-arg- showed an earlier increase in NO production compared to La-WT, suggesting that NO production can be arginase-dependent. Interestingly, La-WT and La-arg- axenic amastigotes produced higher levels of NO than those observed in promastigotes. As a conclusion, our work suggested that NOS-like is expressed in Leishmania in the stationary growth phase promastigotes and amastigotes, and could be correlated to metacyclogenesis and amastigotes growth in a dependent way to the internal pool of L-arginine and arginase activity.
Project description:A total of 44 bis-aryl-monocyclic polyamines, monoaryl-monocyclic polyamines and their transition metal complexes were prepared, chemically characterized, and screened in vitro against the Leishmania donovani promastigotes, axenic amastigotes and intracellular amastigotes in THP1 cells. The IC50 and/or IC90 values showed that 10 compounds were similarly active at about 2-fold less potent than known drug pentamidine against promastigotes. The most potent compound had an IC50 of 2.82 ?M (compared to 2.93 ?M for pentamidine). Nine compounds were 1.1-13.6-fold more potent than pentamidine against axenic amastigotes, the most potent one being about 2-fold less potent than amphotericin B. Fourteen compounds were about 2-10 fold more potent than pentamidine, the most potent one is about 2-fold less potent than amphotericin B against intracellular amastigotes in THP1 cells. The 2 most promising compounds (FeL7Cl2 and MnL7Cl2), with strong activity against both promastigotes and amastigotes and no observable toxicity against the THP1 cells are the Fe2+- and Mn2+- complexes of a dibenzyl cyclen derivative. Only 2 of the 44 compounds showed observable cytotoxicity against THP1 cells. Tetraazamacrocyclic monocyclic polyamines represent a new class of antileishmanial lead structures that warrant follow up studies.
Project description:Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania amazonensis are both causative agents of cutaneous leishmaniasis in South America. However, patient prognosis and the host immune response differ considerably depending on the infecting parasite species. The mechanisms underlying these differences appear to be multifactorial, with both host and parasite components contributing to disease outcome. As neutrophils are a prominent component of the inflammatory infiltrate in chronic cutaneous, diffuse cutaneous and mucocutaneous lesions, we examined neutrophil activation and microbicidal activity against amastigotes of L. amazonensis and L. braziliensis. We found that murine neutrophils internalized L. braziliensis amastigotes with greater efficiency than did L. amazonensis amastigotes. Additionally, L. braziliensis infection was a potent trigger for neutrophil activation, oxidative burst, degranulation and the production of interleukin (IL)-22 and IL-10, while L. amazonensis amastigotes poorly induced these responses. Finally, neutrophils were able to kill L. braziliensis amastigotes, especially when cells were activated with phorbol myristate acetate. L. amazonensis amastigotes, however, were highly resistant to neutrophil microbicidal mechanisms. This study reveals, for the first time, differential neutrophil responsiveness to distinct species of Leishmania amastigotes and highlights the complexity of neutrophil-amastigote interactions during chronic leishmaniasis.
Project description:Two new compounds, namely, a para-benzoquinone ring-containing abietane (1) and a para-benzoquinone ring-containing 7,8-seco-abietane (2), and 14 other known highly oxidized abietane diterpenoids (3-16) were isolated from an extract prepared from the cones of Taxodium distichum, collected in central Ohio. The active subfraction from which all compounds isolated in this study were purified was tested in vivo using Leishmania donovani-infected mice and was found to dose-dependently reduce the parasite burden in the murine livers after iv administration of this crude mixture at 5.6 and 11.1 mg/kg. The structures of 1 and 2 were established by detailed 1D- and 2D-NMR experiments, HRESIMS data, and electronic circular dichroism studies. Compounds 3 and 4 were each fully characterized spectroscopically and also isolated from a natural source for the first time. Compounds 2-16 were tested in vitro against L. donovani promastigotes and L. amazonensis intracellular amastigotes. Compound 2 was the most active against L. amazonensis amastigotes (IC50 = 1.4 ?M), and 10 was the most potent against L. donovani promastigotes (IC50 = 1.6 ?M). These compounds may be suggested for further studies such as in vivo experimentation either alone or in combination with other Taxodium isolates.
Project description:During its life cycle Leishmania undergoes extreme environmental changes, alternating between insect vectors and vertebrate hosts. In mammals the parasites replicate within parasitophorous vacuoles of macrophages, compartments that contain low concentrations of iron. Here we show that stimulation of iron transport, which is induced in Leishmania amazonensis by an iron-poor environment, triggers the differentiation of avirulent promastigotes into virulent amastigotes. Iron depletion from the culture medium triggered expression of the LIT1 ferrous iron transporter, growth arrest, and differentiation of wild type promastigotes into infective amastigotes. In contrast, LIT1 null promastigotes showed continued exponential growth in iron-poor media, followed by massive cell death. Iron depletion from the medium and LIT1 upregulation increased iron superoxide dismutase activity (FeSOD) in wild type, but not in LIT1 null parasites. Notably, the superoxide-generating drug menadione or H2O2 were sufficient to trigger differentiation of wild type promastigotes into fully infective amastigotes. On the other hand, LIT1 null promastigotes accumulated superoxide radical and initiated amastigote differentiation after exposure to H2O2, but not to menadione. Our results reveal a novel role for FeSOD activity and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in orchestrating the differentiation of Leishmania infective stages, in a process regulated by iron availability. Overall design: Four samples were obtained in total from wild-type L. amazonensis promastigotes grown for 24 hours in culture. Two of these samples derived from medium with iron and two from mediam without iron.These two samples derived from each culture served as biological replicates.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The treatment of leishmaniasis relies mostly on parenteral drugs with potentially serious adverse effects. Additionally, parasite resistance in the treatment of leishmaniasis has been demonstrated for the majority of drugs available, making the search for more effective and less toxic drugs and treatment regimens a priority for the control of leishmaniasis. The aims of this study were to evaluate the antileishmanial activity of raloxifene in vitro and in vivo and to investigate its mechanism of action against Leishmania amazonensis.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Raloxifene was shown to possess antileishmanial activity in vitro against several species with EC50 values ranging from 30.2 to 38.0 µM against promastigotes and from 8.8 to 16.2 µM against intracellular amastigotes. Raloxifene's mechanism of action was investigated through transmission electron microscopy and labeling with propidium iodide, DiSBAC2(3), rhodamine 123 and monodansylcadaverine. Microscopic examinations showed that raloxifene treated parasites displayed autophagosomes and mitochondrial damage while the plasma membrane remained continuous. Nonetheless, plasma membrane potential was rapidly altered upon raloxifene treatment with initial hyperpolarization followed by depolarization. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential was also verified. Treatment of L. amazonensis-infected BALB/c mice with raloxifene led to significant decrease in lesion size and parasite burden.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>The results of this work extend the investigation of selective estrogen receptor modulators as potential candidates for leishmaniasis treatment. The antileishmanial activity of raloxifene was demonstrated in vitro and in vivo. Raloxifene produces functional disorder on the plasma membrane of L. amazonensis promastigotes and leads to functional and morphological disruption of mitochondria, which culminate in cell death.
Project description:Recent studies have shown that histone proteins can act as antimicrobial peptides in host defense against extracellular bacteria, fungi, and Leishmania promastigotes. In this study, we used human recombinant histone proteins to further study their leishmaniacidal effects and the underlying mechanisms. We found that the histones H2A and H2B (but not H1(0)) could directly and efficiently kill promastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis, L. major, L. braziliensis, and L. mexicana in a treatment dose-dependent manner. Scanning electron microscopy revealed surface disruption of histone-treated promastigotes. More importantly, the preexposure of promastigotes to histone proteins markedly decreased the infectivity of promastigotes to murine macrophages (M?s) in vitro. However, axenic and lesion-derived amastigotes of L. amazonensis and L. mexicana were relatively resistant to histone treatment, which correlated with the low levels of intracellular H2A in treated amastigotes. To understand the mechanisms underlying these differential responses, we investigated the role of promastigote surface molecules in histone-mediated killing. Compared with the corresponding controls, transgenic L. amazonensis promastigotes expressing lower levels of surface gp63 proteins were more susceptible to histone H2A, while L. major and L. mexicana promastigotes with targeted deletion of the lipophosphoglycan 2 (lpg2) gene (but not the lpg1 gene) were more resistant to histone H2A. We discuss the influence of promastigote major surface molecules in the leishmaniacidal effect of histone proteins. This study provides new information on host innate immunity to different developmental stages of Leishmania parasites.