Evaluation of the Anti-Leishmania mexicana and -Trypanosoma brucei Activity and Mode of Action of 4,4′-(Arylmethylene)bis(3-methyl-1-phenyl-1H-pyrazol-5-ol)

Olalla Barreiro-Costa, Cristina Quiroga Lozano, Erika Muñoz, Patricio Rojas-Silva, Andrea Medeiros, Marcelo A. Comini, Jorge Heredia-Moya

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Trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis are neglected infections caused by trypanosomatid parasites. The first-line treatments have many adverse effects, high costs, and are prone to resistance development, hence the necessity for new chemotherapeutic options. In line with this, twenty five 4,4′-(arylmethylene)bis(1H-pyrazol-5-ols) derivatives were synthesized and evaluated in vitro for their anti-trypanosomatid activity. Ten and five compounds from this series showed IC50 ≤ 10 µM against the promastigote and the bloodstream stage of Leishmania mexicana and Trypanosoma brucei brucei, respectively. Overall, derivatives with pyrazole rings substituted with electron-withdrawing groups proved more active than those with electron-donating groups. The hits proved moderately selective towards L. mexicana and T. brucei (selectivity index, SI, compared to murine macrophages = 5–26). The exception was one derivative displaying an SI (>111–189) against T. brucei that surpassed, by >6-fold, the selectivity of the clinical drug nifurtimox (SI = 13–28.5). Despite sharing a common scaffold, the hits differed in their mechanism of action, with halogenated derivatives inducing a rapid and marked intracellular oxidative milieu in infective T. brucei. Notably, most of the hits presented better absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) properties than the reference drugs. Several of the bioactive molecules herein identified represent a promising starting point for further improvement of their trypanosomatid potency and selectivity.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo1913
EstadoPublicada - ago. 2022


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