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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pentostam induces resistance to antimony and the preservative chlorocresol in Leishmania donovani promastigotes and axenically grown amastigotes.

An axenic amastigote culture system was utilized to directly assess the stage-specific antileishmanial effects of antimony on amastigotes of Leishmania donovani devoid of the macrophage host cell. Pentostam, which contains antimony in the form of sodium stibogluconate and the preservative chlorocresol, was used. Cell density was quantified by measuring the activity of the stable enzyme ornithine decarboxylase. Dose-response curve analyses show that Leishmania promastigotes are susceptible to Pentostam, with the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) being 104 microg/ml, while amastigotes are more susceptible, with the IC50 being 24 microg/ml. Promastigotes and amastigotes are also susceptible to chlorocresol, with IC50s being 1.27 and 1.82 microg/ml, respectively. Given that promastigotes are insensitive to antimony, these results suggest that the increased susceptibility of amastigotes to Pentostam is due to the stage-specific activity of sodium stibogluconate. To further study this phenomenon, spontaneous resistance to Pentostam was induced in L. donovani promastigotes by increasing the concentration of Pentostam in the growth medium in a stepwise fashion. Two mutants, Ld1S.04 and Ld1S.20, grew at 0.4 and 2.0 mg of Pentostam per ml, respectively. Promastigotes of these mutants were 11 and 21 times, respectively, more resistant to Pentostam than the wild type. Amastigotes were 40 and 148 times, respectively, more resistant than the wild type. The mutants were also chlorocresol resistant; promastigotes were 6 and 9 times, respectively, more resistant than the wild type, and amastigotes were 14 and 35 times, respectively, more resistant than the wild type. These data show that resistance to Pentostam induced in antimony-insensitive promastigotes is manifested in amastigotes as resistance both to pentavalent antimony and to chlorocresol. The axenic amastigote system is a unique tool which enables direct evaluation of the activity of antileishmanial compounds on the amastigote devoid of its host cell.[1]


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