Potent antitrypanosomal activities of 3-aminosteroids against African trypanosomes: investigation of cellular effects and of cross-resistance with existing drugs. Molecules

Charles O. Nnadi, Godwin Ebiloma, Jennifer A. Black, Ngozi J. Nwodo, Leandro Lemgruber, Thomas J. Schmidt, Harry P. De Koning

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Abstract

Treatment of animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT) requires urgent need for safe, potent and affordable drugs and this has necessitated this study. We investigated the trypanocidal activities and mode of action of selected 3-aminosteroids against Trypanosoma brucei brucei. The in vitro activity of selected compounds of this series against T. congolense (Savannah-type, IL3000), T. b. brucei (bloodstream trypomastigote, Lister strain 427 wild-type (427WT)) and various multi-drug resistant cell lines was assessed using a resazurin-based cell viability assay. Studies on mode of antitrypanosomal activity of some selected 3-aminosteroids against Tbb 427WT were also carried out. The tested compounds mostly showed moderate-to-low in vitro activities and low selectivity to mammalian cells. Interestingly, a certain aminosteroid, holarrhetine (10, IC50 = 0.045 ± 0.03 µM), was 2 times more potent against T. congolense than the standard veterinary drug, diminazene aceturate, and 10 times more potent than the control trypanocide, pentamidine, and displayed an excellent in vitro selectivity index of 2130 over L6 myoblasts. All multi-drug resistant strains of T. b. brucei tested were not significantly cross-resistant with the purified compounds. The growth pattern of Tbb 427WT on long and limited exposure time revealed gradual but irrecoverable growth arrest at ≥ IC50 concentrations of 3-aminosteroids. Trypanocidal action was not associated with membrane permeabilization of trypanosome cells but instead with mitochondrial membrane depolarization, reduced adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels and G2/M cell cycle arrest which appear to be the result of mitochondrial accumulation of the aminosteroids. These findings provided insights for further development of this new and promising class of trypanocide against African trypanosomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number268
JournalMolecules
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2019

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