INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN CIENCIAS DE LA SALUD
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Clomipramine kills Trypanosoma brucei by apoptosis.
DE SILVA RODRIGUES JH; RIVAROLA HW; DUSZENKO M; STRAUSS M; NAKAMURA CV; STEIN J; UEDA-NAKAMURA T
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY (PRINT)
Año: 2016 vol. 16 p. 1438 - 1438
Drug repositioning, i.e. use of existing medicals to treat a different illness, is especially rewarding for neglected tropical diseases (NTD), since in this field the pharmaceutical industry is rather reluctant to spend vast investments for drug development. NTDs afflict primarily poor populations in under-developed countries, which minimizes financial profit. Here we investigated the trypanocidal effect of clomipramine, a commercial antipsychotic drug, on Trypanosoma brucei. The data showed that this drug killed the parasite with an IC50 of about 5 μM. Analysis of the involved cell death mechanism revealed furthermore an initial autophagic stress response and finally the induction of apoptosis. The latter was substantiated by a set of respective markers such as phosphatidylserine exposition, DNA degradation, loss of the inner mitochondrial membrane potential and characteristic morphological changes. Clomipramine was described as a trypanothione inhibitor, but as judged from our results it also showed DNA binding capacities and induced substantial morphological changes. We thus consider it likely that the drug induces a multifold adverse interaction with the parasite?s physiology and induces stress in a way that trypanosomes cannot cope with.