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Toxicol Lett. 2008 Nov 10;182(1-3):1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2008.08.015. Epub 2008 Sep 4.

The toxicology of Clioquinol.

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Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada.


5-Chloro-7-iodo-quinolin-8-ol (Clioquinol) is a halogenated 8-hydroxyquinoline that was used in 1950-1970s as an oral anti-parasitic agent for the treatment and prevention of intestinal amebiasis. However in the 1970s oral Clioquinol was withdrawn from the market due to reports of neurotoxicity in Japanese patients. Recently, reports have demonstrated that Clioquinol has activities beyond its use as an antimicrobial. For example, Clioquinol inhibits the function of the proteasome and displays preclinical efficacy in the treatment of malignancy. In addition, due to its ability to bind copper and dissolve beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, Clioquinol has been investigated for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. As such, efforts are underway to repurpose Clioquinol. In light of the reemergence of oral Clioquinol, we review the toxicology of this compound in animals and humans with an emphasis on its neurotoxicity. Such information will aid in the design of clinical trials of oral Clioquinol for new indications such as cancer therapy.

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