Effects of DL‐Alpha‐Difluoromethylornithine on Leishmania donovani Promastigotes

K. Kaur, K. Emmett, P. P. McCann, A. Sjoerdsma, B. Ullman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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ABSTRACT. Alpha‐difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), an irreversible inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase, has been demonstrated to be an effective agent against a variety of parasitic protozoa but not against Leishmania spp. In this report, we show that Leishmania donovani promastigotes in continuous culture are sensitive to the growth inhibitory and cytotoxic effects of DFMO. Incubation of the promastigotes with DFMO obliterates intracellular putrescine pools and depletes spermidine concentrations, which correlates with the onset of growth inhibition. The effects of DFMO on the growth and the intracellular polyamine pools can be reversed completely by the addition of 10 μM putrescine to the culture medium. These results suggest that the treatment of leishmaniasis may be amenable to chemotherapeutic manipulation by DFMO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-521
Number of pages4
JournalThe Journal of Protozoology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology


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