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A clioquinol-containing Pluronic ® F127 polymeric micelle system is effective in the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis in a murine model

  • Tavares, Grasiele S.V.
  • Mendonça, Débora V.C.
  • Pereira, Isabela A.G.
  • Oliveira-da-Silva, João A.
  • Ramos, Fernanda F.
  • Lage, Daniela P.
  • Machado, Amanda S.
  • Carvalho, Lívia M.
  • Reis, Thiago A.R.
  • Perin, Luísa
  • Carvalho, Ana Maria R.S.
  • Ottoni, Flaviano M.
  • Ludolf, Fernanda
  • Freitas, Camila S.
  • Bandeira, Raquel S.
  • Silva, Alessandra M.
  • Chávez-Fumagalli, Miguel A.
  • Duarte, Mariana C.
  • Menezes-Souza, Daniel
  • Alves, Ricardo J.
  • And 2 more
Published Article
EDP Sciences
Publication Date
Apr 30, 2020
DOI: 10.1051/parasite/2020027
PMID: 32351209
PMCID: PMC7191975
PubMed Central
External links


A clioquinol (ICHQ)-containing Pluronic® F127 polymeric micelle system (ICHQ/Mic) was recently shown to be effective against Leishmania amazonensis infection in a murine model. In the present study, ICHQ/Mic was tested against L. infantum infection. BALB/c mice ( n  = 12 per group) were infected with L. infantum stationary promastigotes through subcutaneous injection and, 45 days after challenge, received saline or were treated via the subcutaneous route with empty micelles, ICHQ or ICHQ/Mic. In addition, animals were treated with miltefosine by the oral route, as a drug control. Half of the animals were euthanized 1 and 15 days after treatment, aiming to evaluate two endpoints after therapy, when parasitological and immunological parameters were investigated. Results showed that the treatment using miltefosine, ICHQ or ICHQ/Mic induced significantly higher anti-parasite IFN-γ, IL-12, GM-CSF, nitrite and IgG2a isotype antibody levels, which were associated with low IL-4 and IL-10 production. In addition, a higher frequency of IFN-γ and TNF-α-producing CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells was found in these animals. The parasite load was evaluated in distinct organs, and results showed that the treatment using miltefosine, ICHQ or ICHQ/Mic induced significant reductions in organic parasitism in the treated and infected mice. A comparison between the treatments suggested that ICHQ/Mic was the most effective in inducing a highly polarized Th1-type response, as well as reducing the parasite load in significant levels in the treated and infected animals. Data obtained 15 days after treatment suggested maintenance of the immunological and parasitological responses. In conclusion, ICHQ/Mic could be considered in future studies for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis.

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