Antiparasitic activity of piplartine in a mouse model of schistosomiasis. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Antiparasitic activity of piplartine (piperlongumine) in a mouse model of schistosomiasis.
Acta Trop. 2020 Jan 18:105350. Epub 2020 Jan 18. PMID: 31962096
Ana C Mengarda
Schistosomiasis is one of the most important parasitic infections in terms of its negative effects on public health and economics. Since praziquantel is currently the only drug available to treat schistosomiasis, there is an urgent need to identify new anthelmintic agents. Piplartine, also known as piperlongumine, is a biologically active alkaloid/amide from peppers that can be detected in high amounts in the roots of Piper tuberculatum. Previously, it has been shown to have in vitro schistosomicidal effects. However, its anthelmintic activity in an animal host has not been reported. In the present work, in vivo antischistosomal properties of isolated piplartine were evaluated in a mouse model of schistosomiasis infected with either adult (patent infection) or juvenile (pre-patent infection) stages of Schistosoma mansoni. A single dose of piplartine (100, 200 or 400 mg/kg) or daily doses for five consecutive days (100 mg/kg/day) administered orally to mice infected with schistosomes resulted in a reduction in worm burden and egg production. Treatment with the highest piplartine dose (400 mg/kg) caused a significant reduction in a total worm burden of 60.4% (P<0.001) in mice harbouring adult parasites. S. mansoni egg production, a process responsible for pathology in schistosomiasis, was also significantly inhibited by piplartine. Studies using scanning electron microscopy revealed substantial tegumental alterations in parasites recovered from mice. Since piplartine has well-characterized mechanisms of toxicity, is easily available, and is cost-effective, our results indicate that this bioactive molecule derived from medicinal plants could be a potential lead compound for novel antischistosomal agents.