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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 179-185

Apoptotic activity and anti-Toxoplasma effects of artemether on the tachyzoites and experimental infected Vero and J774 cell lines by Toxoplasma gondii

1 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
2 Blood Transfusion Research Center, High Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion Medicine, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Fatemeh Ghaffarifar
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.178838

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Objectives: Drugs used for toxoplasmosis have limited efficacy and also severe side effects. A new drug with good efficacy and limited side effects is need of the hour. We studied the effects of artemether on Toxoplasma gondii in vitro conditions. Materials and Methods: Artemether (methyl-ether-qinghaosu) was tested for tachyzoites, J774, and Vero cell lines infected by T. gondii. For evaluating the effect of drugs on Vero cells infected with T. gondii, we designed two separate experiments; in the first experiment, the Vero cells were infected with tachyzoites and then treated with artemether; while in the second one, the tachyzoites were exposed to artemether and then Vero cells were infected with treated tachyzoites. For evaluating the apoptotic effect of artemether on tachyzoites and infected J774 macrophages cell line with T. gondii, we used flow cytometry method. Inhibitory concentration (IC50) was evaluated by intracellular replication of tachyzoites in Vero cells. Results: IC50for infected Vero cells with tachyzoites was determined as 49.13 μg/ml. In pretreated tachyzoites with artemether before entering into Vero cells, IC50was calculated as 13.15 μg/ml. In both experiments, artemether showed a higher inhibitory effect than sulfadiazine (positive control). Artemether even at the highest concentrations only showed low cytotoxicity on Vero and J774 cell lines. Apoptosis in tachyzoites rise with an increasing concentration of artemether. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that artemether is effective to control the tachyzoites of T. gondii in vitro and maybe a good alternative drug for toxoplasmosis.


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