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Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Oct 1;20(19). pii: E4880. doi: 10.3390/ijms20194880.

Exogenous Iron Increases Fasciocidal Activity and Hepatocellular Toxicity of the Synthetic Endoperoxides OZ78 and MT04.

Author information

1
Division of Biopharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland. Karin.Brecht@unibas.ch.
2
Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland. carla.kirchhofer@hotmail.com.
3
Division of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, Department of Medicine, University of Basel, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland. jamal.bouitbir@unibas.ch.
4
Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland. jamal.bouitbir@unibas.ch.
5
Swiss Centre of Applied Human Toxicology (SCAHT), University of Basel, CH-4001 Basel, Switzerland. jamal.bouitbir@unibas.ch.
6
Institute of Pathology, University of Basel, CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland. Francesca.trapani@unibas.ch.
7
Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland. Francescatrapani.vet@gmail.com.
8
Division of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, Department of Medicine, University of Basel, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland. stephan.kraehenbuehl@usb.ch.
9
Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland. stephan.kraehenbuehl@usb.ch.
10
Swiss Centre of Applied Human Toxicology (SCAHT), University of Basel, CH-4001 Basel, Switzerland. stephan.kraehenbuehl@usb.ch.

Abstract

The synthetic peroxides OZ78 and MT04 recently emerged as fasciocidal drug candidates. However, the effect of iron on fasciocidal activity and hepatocellular toxicity of these compounds is unknown. We investigated the in vitro fasciocidal activity and hepatocellular toxicity of OZ78 and MT04 in absence and presence of Fe(II)chloride and hemin, and conducted a toxicological study in mice. Studies were performed in comparison with the antimalarial artesunate (AS), a semisynthetic peroxide. Fasciocidal effects of OZ78 and MT04 were confirmed and enhanced by Fe2+ or hemin. In HepG2 cells, AS reduced cellular ATP and impaired membrane integrity concentration-dependently. In comparison, OZ78 or MT04 were not toxic at 100 µM and reduced the cellular ATP by 13% and 19%, respectively, but were not membrane-toxic at 500 µM. The addition of Fe2+ or hemin increased the toxicity of OZ78 and MT04 significantly. AS inhibited complex I, II, and IV of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, and MT04 impaired complex I and II, whereas OZ78 was not toxic. All three compounds increased cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentration-dependently, with a further increase by Fe2+ or hemin. Mice treated orally with up to 800 mg OZ78, or MT04 showed no relevant hepatotoxicity. In conclusion, we confirmed fasciocidal activity of OZ78 and MT04, which was increased by Fe2+ or hemin. OZ78 and MT04 were toxic to HepG2 cells, which was explained by mitochondrial damage associated with ROS generation in the presence of iron. No relevant hepatotoxicity was observed in mice in vivo, possibly due to limited exposure and/or high antioxidative hepatic capacity.

KEYWORDS:

Fasciola hepatica; HepG2 cells; MT04; OZ78; artesunate; hepatotoxicity

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