Malaria journal

Enantiomerically pure amino-alcohol quinolines: in vitro anti-malarial activity in combination with dihydroartemisinin, cytotoxicity and in vivo efficacy in a Plasmodium berghei mouse model.

PMID 25319003


As resistance to marketed anti-malarial drugs continues to spread, the need for new molecules active on Plasmodium falciparum-resistant strains grows. Pure (S) enantiomers of amino-alcohol quinolines previously displayed a good in vitro anti-malarial activity. Therefore, a more thorough assessment of their potential clinical use through a rodent model and an in vitro evaluation of their combination with artemisinin was undertaken. Screening on a panel of P. falciparum clones with varying resistance profiles and regional origins was performed for the (S)-pentyl and (S)-heptyl substituted quinoline derivatives, followed by an in vitro assessment of their combination with dihydroartemisinin (DHA) on the 3D7 clone and an in vivo assay in a mouse model infected with Plasmodium berghei. Their haemolytic activity was also determined. A steady anti-malarial activity of the compounds tested was found, whatever the resistance profile or the regional origin of the strain. (S)-quinoline derivatives were at least three times more potent than mefloquine (MQ), their structurally close parent. The in vitro combination with DHA yielded an additive or synergic effect for both that was as good as that of the DHA/MQ combination. In vivo, survival rates were similar to those of MQ for the two compounds at a lower dose, despite a lack of clearance of the parasite blood stages. A 50% haemolysis was observed for concentrations at least 1,000-fold higher than the antiplasmodial IC50s. The results obtained make those two (S)-amino-alcohol quinoline derivatives good candidates for the development of new artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), hopefully with fewer neurologic side effects than those currently marketed ACT, including MQ.