Aim: To investigate the association between vasculopathy and survival during experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), and to determine whether targeting the endothelin-1 (ET-1) pathway alone or in combination with the anti-malaria drug artemether (a semi-synthetic derivative of artemisinin) will improve microvascular hemorrhage and survival. Main methods: C57BL/6 mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA) were randomly assigned to four groups: no treatment, artemether treated, ETA receptor antagonist (HJP-272) treated, or HJP-272 and artemether treated. The uninfected control mice were treated with HJP-272 and artemether. We analyzed survival, cerebral hemorrhage, weight change, blood glucose levels and parasitemia. Key findings: Our studies demonstrated decreased brain hemorrhage in PbA-infected (ECM) mice treated when HJP-272, a 1,3,6-trisubstituted-2-carboxy-quinol-4-one novel ETA receptor antagonist synthesized by our group, is used in conjunction with artemether, an anti-malarial agent. In addition, despite adversely affecting parasitemia and weight in non-artemether treated infected mice, HJP-272, seemed to confer some survival benefit when used as adjunctive therapy, though this did not reach significance. Significance: Previous studies demonstrate that the endothelin pathway is associated with vasculopathy, neuronal injury and inflammation in ECM. As demonstrated here, components of the ET-1 pathway may be important targets for adjunctive therapy in ECM, and may help in preventing hemorrhage and in improving survival when used as adjunctive therapy during malaria infection. The data presented suggest that our novel agent, HJP-272, may ameliorate alterations in the vasculature which can potentially lead to inflammation, neurological dysfunction, and subsequent death in mice with ECM.
- Brain hemorrhage
- Experimental cerebral malaria
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)