Rocío Nieto-Meneses, Rafael Castillo, Alicia Hernández-Campos, Benjamín Nogueda-Torres, Edgar Oliver López-Villegas, Adriana Moreno-Rodríguez, Félix Matadamas-Martínez, Lilián Yépez-Mulia

Characterization of the Effect of N-(2-Methoxyphenyl)-1-methyl-1H-benzimidazol-2-amine, Compound 8, against Leishmania mexicana and Its In Vivo Leishmanicidal Activity

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • Catalysis

Chemotherapy currently available for leishmaniasis treatment has many adverse side effects and drug resistance. Therefore, the identification of new targets and the development of new drugs are urgently needed. Previously, we reported the synthesis of a N-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1-methyl-1H-benzimidazol-2-amine, named compound 8, with an IC50 value in the micromolar range against L. mexicana, it also inhibited 68.27% the activity of recombinant L. mexicana arginase. Herein, we report studies carried out to characterize the mechanism of action of compound 8, as well as its in vivo leishmanicidal activity. It was shown in our ultrastructural studies that compound 8 induces several changes, such as membrane blebbing, the presence of autophagosomes, membrane detachment and mitochondrial and kinetoplast disorganization, among others. Compound 8 triggers the production of ROS and parasite apoptosis. It reduced 71% of the parasite load of L. mexicana in an experimental model of cutaneous leishmaniasis in comparison with a control. Altogether, the data obtained suggest the potential use of compound 8 in the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis.

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