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Exp Parasitol. 1997 Jul;86(3):181-90.

Trypanosoma brucei: lack of cross-resistance to melarsoprol in vitro by cymelarsan-resistant parasites.

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Division of Infection and Immunity, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.


We have examined cross-resistance between trypanocidal drugs using a well-characterised drug-sensitive line, 247, and its cymelarsan-resistant derivative, 247melCyR. The cymelarsan-resistant line was cross-resistant to trimelarsen and melarsen oxide, and partially cross-resistant to two diamidines, pentamidine and berenil (diminazene aceturate). It was cross-resistant to lipid-soluble melarsoprol in vivo but to only a trivial degree in two in vitro assays. The potential role of adenosine transport in arsenical-induced killing of parasites was investigated. Adenosine, adenine, and the diamidines, but not inosine, were able to inhibit killing of drug-sensitive STIB 247 trypanosomes by cymelarsan and melarsen oxide in a concentration-dependent manner. These results are consistent with the view that these arsenical compounds enter trypanosomes via an adenosine-specific transporter. Melarsoprol-induced killing of trypanosomes was unaffected, however, by either purine and to only a slight degree by the diamidines. These data suggest that melarsoprol can enter trypanosomes by a route other than through an adenosine transporter and that there may be two mechanisms contributing to arsenical resistance in this drug-resistant line of trypanosomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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