Abstract Leishmaniasis is a neglected disease caused by Leishmania. Chemotherapy remains the mainstay for leishmaniasis control; however, available drugs fail to provide a parasitological cure, and are associated with high toxicity. Natural products are promising leads for the development of novel chemotherapeutics against leishmaniasis. This work investigated the leishmanicidal properties of ethanolic extract of Croton blanchetianus (EECb) on Leishmania infantum and Leishmania amazonensis, and found that EECb, rich in terpenic compounds, was active against promastigote and amastigote forms of both Leishmania species. Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes presented IC50 values of 208.6 and 8.8 μg/mL, respectively, whereas Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes and amastigotes presented IC50 values of 73.6 and 3.1 μg/mL, respectively. Promastigotes exposed to EECb (100 µg/mL) had their body cellular volume reduced and altered to a round shape, and the flagellum was duplicated, suggesting that EECb may interfere with the process of cytokinesis, which could be the cause of the decline in the parasite multiplication rate. Regarding possible EECb targets, a marked depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential was observed. No cytotoxic effects of EECb were observed in murine macrophages at concentrations below 60 µg/mL, and the CC50 obtained was 83.8 µg/mL. Thus, the present results indicated that EECb had effective and selective effects against Leishmania infantum and Leishmania amazonensis, and that these effects appeared to be mediated by mitochondrial dysfunction.
ABSTRACT Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease caused by protozoa of the Leishmania genus. It may manifest in visceral and tegumentary forms, and pentavalent antimonials are the first choice drugs used for the treatment. Frequently these drugs show low efficiency and high toxicity to mammalian host. The present study describes the chemical profile and the in vitro leishmanicidal effects of red propolis and Dalbergia ecastaphyllum extracts from Sergipe, Brazil, in Leishmania chagasi and Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes. The phenolic composition of the extracts was evaluated by direct infusion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) fingerprinting. The leishmanicidal effect was evaluated by the Resazurin colorimetric method. Similar composition profiles have been found for D. ecastaphyllum and propolis samples. The isoflavones formononetin, biochanin A, daidzein and pinocembrin were identified in both extracts. Propolis extract showed leishmanicidal activity in both L. chagasi and L. amazonensis, with IC50 values of 21.54 and 9.73 µg/mL, respectively. The D. ecastaphyllum extract presented activity only in L. amazonensis, with IC50 of 53.42 µg/mL. These results suggest that red propolis extract from Sergipe has the leguminosae D. ecastaphyllum as botanical origin, and that it presents potential leishmanicidal activity, which may be associated with the presence of the phenolic compounds found in its composition.
Erythrina velutina Willd., Fabaceae, is a medicinal plant that can be found in the tropics and subtropics, including in the semi-arid northeastern Brazil. It is commonly used in folk medicine to treat anxiety, agitation and insomnia. E. velutina has been known to present analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities, however, it is unknown if this plant present a protective effect on DNA. We assessed the antigenotoxic effect of E. velutina against the genotoxic effects induced by MMS in the root meristem cells of Allium cepa. Three concentrations of the aqueous extract (100, 200 and 400 mg/L) of this medicinal plant were used in three different types of treatment (pre-, post- and simultaneous). The effects of the extracts on the root meristem cells of A. cepa were analyzed at both macroscopic and microscopic levels. Protective effects were observed at higher concentrations in pre-treatment and in simultaneous treatment. The results suggest that E. velutina may present antigenotoxic properties and demonstrate its chemopreventive potential.
Anti-silencing factor 1 (ASF1) is a histone chaperone that contributes to the histone deposition during nucleosome assembly in newly replicated DNA. It is involved in chromatin disassembly, transcription activation and in the cellular response to DNA damage. In Leishmania major the ASF1 gene (LmASF1) is located in chromosome 20 and codes for a protein showing 67% of identity with the Trypanosoma brucei TbASF1a. Compared to orthologous proteins, LmASF1 conserves the main residues relevant for its various biological functions. To study ASF1 in Leishmania we generated a mutant overexpressing LmASF1 in L. major. We observed that the excess of LmASF1 impaired promastigotes growth rates and had no impact on cell cycle progress. Differently from yeast, ASF1 overproduction in Leishmania did not affect expression levels of genes located on telomeres, but led to an upregulation of proteins involved in chromatin remodelling and physiological stress, such as heat shock proteins, oxidoreductase activity and proteolysis. In addition, we observed that LmASF1 mutant is more susceptible to the DNA damaging agent, methyl methane sulphonate, than the control line. Therefore, our study suggests that ASF1 from Leishmania pertains to the chromatin remodelling machinery of the parasite and acts on its response to DNA damage.
Lead is one of the heavy metals most used in industry. Poisoning due to long-term lead exposure is known as saturnism, and is an occupational illness that has been known for many years. Lead is highly toxic and can compromise the structural and functional patterns of organs and systems. The aim of this study was to examine the lungs and kidneys of fetuses from female Wistar rats exposed to lead acetate. In this study, the lungs and kidneys of 20 fetuses from female rats that had previously been treated with lead acetate were dissected, fixed, embedded in paraffin and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Macroscopic changes to the shape, color and consistency of organs from fetuses treated with this heavy metal were observed, in comparison with organs from control fetuses. Microscopic lesions characterized by vascular sclerosis, cell atrophy or hyperplasia, progressive interstitial fibrosis, inclusion bodies containing lead acetate and glomerular sclerosis were found in the kidneys. The lesions found in the lungs consisted of destructuring of the parenchyma, impregnation with lead acetate, formation of fibrosis, extravasation of vascular fluids, reduction of the alveolar spaces and formation of alveolar edema. These changes were correlated with the level of lead acetate absorption, as determined using atomic spectrophotometry.
El plomo es un metal pesado utilizado en la industria. El envenenamiento debido a la exposición prolongada por plomo es una enfermedad profesional conocida por muchos años. La toxicidad del plomo es muy expresiva y puede poner en peligro el modelo estructural y funcional de los órganos y sistemas. El objetivo de este estudio fue examinar los pulmones y riñones de fetos de ratas Wistar expuestos al acetato de plomo. En este estudio, 20 fetos de ratas Wistar previamente tratados con acetato de plomo durante la gestación, tuvieron sus órganos disecados, fijados, incluidos en parafina y teñidos con hematoxilina y eosina. Macroscópicamente, los órganos fetales tratados por este metal fueron comparados con los órganos de fetos controles en relación a forma, color y consistencia. Microscópicamente, se encontraron lesiones en el riñón que se caracterizaron por esclerosis vascular, atrofia o hiperplasia de células, fibrosis intersticial progresiva, presencia de cuerpos de inclusión que contenían acetato de plomo y esclerosis glomerular. En el pulmón se observó desorganización del parénquima impregnado con acetato de plomo, formación de fibrosis, líquido intersticial, reducción de los espacios alveolares y edema alveolar. Estos cambios se correlacionaron con el nivel de absorción de acetato de plomo, determinado por espectrometría atómica.
Leishamaniasis is a disease that affects more than 2 million people worldwide, whose causative agent is Leishmania spp. The current therapy for leishmaniasis is far from satisfactory. All available drugs, including pentavalent antimony, require parenteral administration and are potentially toxic. Moreover, an increase in clinical resistance to these drugs has been reported. In this scenario, plant essential oils used traditionally in folk medicine are emerging as alternative sources for chemotherapeutic compounds. In this study, in vitro leishmanicidal effects of a thymol- and a carvacrol-rich essential oil from leaves of Lippia sidoides Cham. were investigated. The essential oils were extracted and their constituents were characterized by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Both essential oils showed significant activity against promastigote forms of Leishmania chagasi. However, we found that carvacrol-rich essential oil was more effective, with IC50/72 h of 54.8 μg/mL compared to 74.1 μg/mL for thymol-rich oil. Carvacrol also showed lower IC50 than thymol. Our data suggest that L. sidoides essential oils are indeed promising sources of leishmanicidal compounds.
The effects of the decoction of Erythrina velutina Willd., Fabaceae, were investigated using the root meristem cells of Allium cepa L., Amaryllidaceae. Ten concentrations of the aqueous extract (0.125 to 1.25%) of this medicinal plant were analyzed at both macroscopic and microscopic levels. All concentrations showed root growth inhibition after 96 h treatment. Although there were no significant differences between the mitotic indexes of any concentration and the control, there were changes in the frequencies of cell stages at three different concentrations. Additionally, the presence of five different cells abnormalities was recorded: chromosome bridging, lagging chromosomes, chromosome fragments, disturbed metaphase and disturbed anaphase. These results suggest inhibitory and genotoxic activity of the decoction of E. velutina on Allium cepa.
Cytogenetic analysis based on the distribution of C-bands showed two groups of karyotypes in a Trypoxylon nitidum population from the Rio Doce Park, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. One of these groups, that was identical to a previously described karyotype (n = 15; 2n = 30), had a stable chromosome number and was rich in acrocentric chromosomes, whereas the other had a variable chromosome number (n = 12 to 14; 2n = 25 to 28) and was rich in pseudo-acrocentric chromosomes. We propose a hypothesis explaining the dynamics of the modifications which occurred in the karyotype of this species, based on the minimum interaction theory of Imai et al. (1986, 1988, 1994) and on the chromosome rearrangements and heteromorphisms observed by us.