In Leishmania amazonensis, kinetoplastid membrane protein-11 (KMP-11) expression increases during metacyclogenesis and is higher in amastigotes than in promastigotes, suggesting a role for this protein in the infection of the mammalian host. We show that the addition of KMP-11 exacerbates L. amazonensis infection in peritoneal macrophages from BALB/c mice by increasing interleukin (IL)-10 secretion and arginase activity while reducing nitric oxide (NO) production. The doses of KMP-11, the IL-10 levels and the intracellular amastigote loads were strongly, positively and significantly correlated. The increase in parasite load induced by KMP-11 was inhibited by anti-KMP-11 or anti-IL-10 neutralising antibodies, but not by isotype controls. The neutralising antibodies, but not the isotype controls, were also able to significantly decrease the parasite load in macrophages cultured without the addition of KMP-11, demonstrating that KMP-11-induced exacerbation of the infection is not dependent on the addition of exogenous KMP-11 and that the protein naturally expressed by the parasite is able to promote it. In this study, the exacerbating effect of KMP-11 on macrophage infection with Leishmania is for the first time demonstrated, implicating it as a virulence factor in L. amazonensis. The stimulation of IL-10 production and arginase activity and the inhibition of NO synthesis are likely involved in this effect.
The phytochemical investigation of the stem bark and leaves of G. elliptica provided a mixture of the norisoprenoids blumenol B and 6-epiblumenol B along with the triterpenes friedelin, as the major constituent, friedelanol, ursa-9(11),12-dien-3-ol, a-amyrin, β-amyrin, morentenol, epifriedelanol, as well as the sesquiterpenes trans-caryophyllene, α-humulene, ethyl hydnocarpate and other fatty acid esters. The identification of the compounds was performed on basis of spectrometric methods such as GC-MS, IR, MS and 1D and 2D NMR. Stem bark extracts showed significant leishmanicidal activity against promastigote forms of Leishmania braziliensis, with the best results for the chloroform extract.
bicyclogermacrene (35.12%), (E)-caryophyllene (14.19%) and α-copaene (8.19%). The antimicrobial and antileishmanial activities were investigated. The oil showed potent antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans and Rhodococcus equi. The oil also showed significant antileishmanial activity, giving the best results against Leishmania guyanensis. A preliminary cytotoxicity assay for this oil was carried out on hamster and mice (Balb/c) peritoneal macrophages. The results obtained were similar to pentamidine and considered not to be cytotoxic to macrophages.
Extracts of propolis samples collected in Brazil and Bulgaria were assayed against four Leishmania species - Leishmania amazonensis, L. braziliensis, L. chagasi from the New World, and L. major from the Old World - associated to different clinical forms of leishmaniasis. The composition of the extracts has been previously characterized by high temperature high resolution gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Considering the chemical differences among the extracts and the behavior of the parasites, it was observed significant differences in the leishmanicidal activities with IC50/1 day values in the range of 2.8 to 229.3 µg/ml . An overall analysis showed that for all the species evaluated, Bulgarian extracts were more active than the ethanol Brazilian extract. As the assayed propolis extracts have their chemical composition determined it merits further investigation the effect of individual components or their combinations on each Leishmania species.
The activity of several diarylheptanoid derivatives (curcuminoids) was previously evaluated against Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes and among them the most active compound was the [1-(4-methoxy-phenyl)-7-(3,4-methoxy-4-hydroxy-phenyl)-1,6-heptadien-3, 5-dione]. This derivative was chosen to be assayed in vivo in a treatment trial. For these experiments, the curcuminoid compound was used in a concentration equivalent to the IC50/24 h, obtained from the previous study. Balb/c mice were inoculated subcutaneously in the footpad with L. amazonensis infective promastigotes and 4 weeks after the inoculation, the animals were treated with different schemes, varying from 1 to 3 doses. In all the experiments, Pentamidine Isethionate was used as reference drug under the same experimental conditions. The results showed that one dose was not enough to heal the lesion, however, with 2 and 3 doses the efficiency of the assayed compound was clear. On the other hand, treatment with Pentamidine Isethionate using the three different schemes was not satisfactory when compared to the curcuminoid derivative.