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Exp Parasitol. 1992 Mar;74(2):134-42.

Plasmodium chabaudi: association of reversal of chloroquine resistance with increased accumulation of chloroquine in resistant parasites.

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Department of Medical Zoology, Osaka City University Medical School, Japan.


The effects of tricyclic antidepressants, desipramine and imipramine, and phenothiazines, chlorpromazine and trifluoperazine, on chloroquine (CQ)-resistant and CQ-sensitive lines of P. chabaudi were examined in vivo. In mice that received daily injections of these drugs the growth of CQ-resistant and CQ-sensitive parasites was unaffected or affected very slightly, if at all. A combination of CQ and each drug suppressed the growth of CQ-resistant parasites in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, in CQ-sensitive parasites each drug also increased the susceptibility to CQ. Measurements of CQ levels by high-performance liquid chromatography showed that CQ accumulated in sensitive parasites to more than twice the level in resistant parasites at 2 to 4 hr after an injection of CQ. Verapamil and desipramine substantially increased CQ levels in both CQ-resistant and CQ-sensitive parasites. These results suggest that not only Ca2+ antagonists but tricyclic antidepressants reverse CQ resistance in CQ-resistant parasites and enhance the inhibitory effect in sensitive parasites by increasing CQ levels in those parasites. The effects of Ca2+ antagonists, tricyclic antidepressants, and phenothiazines on a pyrimethamine-resistant line of P. chabaudi were also studied. None of the Ca2+ antagonists (verapamil, nicardipine, and diltiazem) affected the growth of the parasite in combination with 20 mg/kg pyrimethamine. Tricyclic antidepressants and phenothiazines suppressed pyrimethamine-resistant parasites to some extent. However, the extent of this suppression was less pronounced as compared with that of suppression of CQ resistance by the same drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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