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Antileishmanial Activity of Pyrazolopyridine Derivatives and Their Potential as an Adjunct Therapy with Miltefosine

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posted on 06.01.2017 by Devireddy Anand, Pawan Kumar Yadav, Om P. S. Patel, Naveen Parmar, Rahul K. Maurya, Preeti Vishwakarma, Kanumuri S. R. Raju, Isha Taneja, M. Wahajuddin, Susanta Kar, Prem P. Yadav
A series of pyrazolo­(dihydro)­pyridines was synthesized and evaluated for antileishmanial efficacy against experimental visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Among all compounds, 6d and 6j exhibited better activity than miltefosine against intracellular amastigotes. Compound 6j (50 mg/kg/day) was further studied against Leishmania donovani/BALB/c mice via the intraperitoneal route for 5 days and displayed >91 and >93% clearance of splenic and liver parasitic burden, respectively. Combination treatment of 6j with a subcurative dose of miltefosine (5 mg/kg) in BALB/c mice almost completely ameliorated the disease (>97% inhibition) by augmenting nitric oxide generation and shifting the immune response toward Th1. Furthermore, investigating the effect of 6j on Leishmania promastigotes revealed that it induced molecular events, such as a loss in mitochondrial membrane potential, externalization of phosphatidylserine, and DNA fragmentation, that ultimately resulted in the programmed cell death of the parasite. These results along with pharmacokinetic studies suggest that 6j could be a promising lead for treating VL as an adjunct therapy with miltefosine.