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Therapeutic combinations in Visceral Leishmaniasis: the antileishmanial potential of calcium channel blockers

Grant number: 08/11434-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2009
Effective date (End): February 29, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Protozoology of Parasites
Principal Investigator:André Gustavo Tempone Cardoso
Grantee:Juliana Quero Reimão Dalla Zanna
Host Institution: Instituto Adolfo Lutz (IAL). Coordenadoria de Controle de Doenças (CCD). Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by Leishmania parasites, found in 88 countries and with 12 million infected people. Despite the incidence and high lethality, Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) is considered by the World Health Organization one of the most important diseases. The treatment makes use of drugs with high toxicity as the pentavalent antimonials, amphotericin B and pentamidine, demonstrating a restricted therapeutic arsenal, surpassed by resistance cases. With a high necessity for novel drugs, the chemotherapeutic swithching or "piggy-back" therapy represents one of the most promising forms for the introduction of new active compounds. Moreover, the study of combinatorial therapy is fundamental in the prevention of resistance and in the reduction of the time and toxicity of the treatment. Based in these data, our group have been studying the antileishmanial activity of calcium channel blockers clinically used for another diseases, and have recently found for the first time, the antileishmanial activity of nimodipine (in press data). The goal of this project is the in vitro and in vivo evaluation of the antileishmanial activity of clinically used calcium channel blockers for the pharmacological screening of novel drug candidates against VL. Furthermore, it will also be studied the therapeutical combinations of this class of drugs with drugs clinically used in the treatment of VL and the in vitro and in vivo evaluation of the synergic or antagonistic potential of these combinations. Transmission electron microscopy studies will be conducted with active drugs in order to evaluate the ultrastructural modifications of Leishmania (L.) chagasi. Considering the previous antileishmanial activity of nimodipine, as for other calcium antagonists as amlodipine and lacidipine, the study of the therapeutical combinations could contribute for the discovery of new alternatives for the treatment of VL, resulting in a considerable reduction of costs and time of the research for the development of a novel drug.

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Scientific publications (5)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
REIMAO, JULIANA Q.; SCOTTI, MARCUS T.; TEMPONE, ANDRE G.. Anti-leishmanial and anti-trypanosomal activities of 1,4-dihydropyridines: In vitro evaluation and structure-activity relationship study. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, v. 18, n. 22, p. 8044-8053, . (08/11434-3, 08/09260-7)
REIMAO, JULIANA QUERO; TEMPONE, ANDRE GUSTAVO. Investigation into in vitro anti-leishmanial combinations of calcium channel blockers and current anti-leishmanial drugs. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, v. 106, n. 8, p. 1032-1038, . (08/11434-3, 08/09260-7)
REIMAO, JULIANA QUERO; MESQUITA, JULIANA TONINI; FERREIRA, DAIANE DIAS; TEMPONE, ANDRE GUSTAVO. Investigation of Calcium Channel Blockers as Antiprotozoal Agents and Their Interference in the Metabolism of Leishmania (L.) infantum. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, . (12/18756-1, 08/11434-3, 11/21970-2)
REIMAO, JULIANA Q.; COLOMBO, FABIO A.; PEREIRA-CHIOCCOLA, VERA L.; TEMPONE, ANDRE G.. Effectiveness of liposomal buparvaquone in an experimental hamster model of Leishmania (L.) infantum chagasi. Experimental Parasitology, v. 130, n. 3, p. 195-199, . (08/11434-3, 08/09260-7)
REIMAO, JULIANA Q.; COLOMBO, FABIO A.; PEREIRA-CHIOCCOLA, VERA L.; TEMPONE, ANDRE G.. In vitro and experimental therapeutic studies of the calcium channel blocker bepridil.: Detection of viable Leishmania (L.) chagasi by real-time PCR. Experimental Parasitology, v. 128, n. 2, p. 111-115, . (08/11434-3, 08/00520-6, 08/09260-7)

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