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12.05.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2020

Lasers in Medical Science 1/2020

Anti–Trypanosoma cruzi effect of the photodynamic antiparasitic chemotherapy using phenothiazine derivatives as photosensitizers

Lasers in Medical Science > Ausgabe 1/2020
Artur F. S. Barbosa, Ivanilson P. Santos, Gustavo M. P. Santos, Tanira M. Bastos, Vinícius. P. C. Rocha, Cássio S. Meira, Milena B. P. Soares, Ivan R. Pitta, Antônio Luiz Barbosa Pinheiro
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Chagas disease is endemic in Latin America and increasingly found in non-endemic countries. Its treatment is limited due to the variable efficacy and several side effects of benznidazole. Photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapy (PACT) may be an attractive approach for treating Chagas disease. Here, the trypanocidal activity of PACT was investigated in vitro using phenothiazine derivatives. The cytotoxicity of both, methylene blue (MB) and toluidine blue (TBO), was determined on macrophages cultures using AlamarBlue method. The trypanocidal activity of the two photosensitizers was initially evaluated by determining their IC50 values against trypomastigote forms. After this, the trypanocidal effect was evaluated in cultures of infected macrophages using an automatized image analysis protocol. All experiments were performed in the dark and in the clear phase (after a photodynamic exposure). The compounds showed no cytotoxicity in both phases at the tested concentrations. The IC50 values for the sole use of MB and TBO were 2.6 and 1.2 μM, respectively. The photoactivation of the compounds using a fixed energy density (J/cm2) caused a reduction of the IC50 values to 1.0 and 0.9 μM, respectively. It was found that, on infected macrophage, the use of TBO significantly reduced the number of infected cells and parasitic load, and this effect was increased in the presence of light. The results of the present study are indicative that PACT may be considered as both selective and effective therapeutic intervention for treating Chagas disease.

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