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PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35543. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035543. Epub 2012 Apr 24.

In vivo inhibitory effect on the biofilm formation of Candida albicans by liverwort derived riccardin D.

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  • 1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan, China.


Riccardin D, a macrocyclic bisbibenzyl isolated from Chinese liverwort Dumortiera hirsute, has been proved to have inhibitory effect on biofilms formation of Candida albicans in in vitro study. Our present study aims to investigate the in vivo effect and mechanisms of riccardin D against C. albicans biofilms when used alone or in combination with clinical using antifungal agent fluconazole. XTT reduction assay revealed riccardin D had both prophylactic and therapeutic effect against C. albicans biofilms formation in a dose-dependent manner when using a central venous catheter related infective animal model. Scanning electron microscope and laser confocal scanning microscope showed that the morphology of biofilms was altered remarkably after riccardin D treatment, especially hypha growth inhibition. To uncover the underlying molecular mechanisms, quantitative real-time RT-PCR was performed to observe the variation of related genes. The downregulation of hypha-specific genes such as ALS1, ALS3, ECE1, EFG1, HWP1 and CDC35 following riccardin D treatment suggested riccardin D inhibited the Ras-cAMP-Efg pathway to retard the hypha formation, then leading to the defect of biofilms maturation. Moreover, riccardin D displayed an increased antifungal activity when administered in combination with fluconazole. Our study provides a potential clinical application to eliminate the biofilms of relevant pathogens.

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