The efficacy of inhibitors involved in spermidine metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum, Anopheles stephensi and Trypanosoma evansi

Parasitol Res. 2004 Sep;94(1):37-48. doi: 10.1007/s00436-004-1162-0. Epub 2004 Jul 29.


In the present study, we have tested the effect of different polyamine inhibitors of the spermidine metabolizing enzymes deoxyhypusine synthase and homospermidine synthase in different chloroquine resistant Plasmodium falciparum strains, in the mosquito Anopheles stephensi (Diptera: Culicidae) and in a Trypanosoma evansi clone I from strain STIB 806 K China. Recent experiments have shown that agmatine is a growth inhibitor of the malaria parasite P. falciparum (Kaiser et al. 2001) in vitro. A comparison of agmatine efficacy with the new antimalarials artemisinin, triclosan and conventional chloroquine showed similar or even better results on the basis of growth inhibition and the reduction of developmental forms. However, no effect of triclosan or agmatine was observed at the ribonucleic acid level. In a second set of experiments, we tested the effect of 1,7-diaminoheptane and agmatine on oocyst formation in A. stephensi after infection with Plasmodium yoelii. Agmatine had an antisporozoite effect since 1,000 microM led to a 59.5% inhibition of oocysts. A much weaker inhibitor of oocyst formation was 1,7-diaminoheptane. The most effective in in vitro inhibition of T. evansi was dicyclohexylamine, an inhibitor of spermidine biosynthesis with an IC(50 ) value of 47.44 microM and the deoxyhypusine inhibitor 1,7-diaminoheptane with an IC(50) value of 47.80 microM. However, both drugs were ineffective in in vivo experiments in a Trypanosoma mouse model. Two different spermidine analogues, 1,8-diaminooctane and 1,3-diaminopropane with IC(50) values of 171 microM and 181.37 microM, respectively, were moderate inhibitors in vitro and ineffective in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles / drug effects*
  • Anopheles / metabolism
  • Anopheles / parasitology
  • Antimalarials / pharmacology
  • Antiparasitic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antiparasitic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Design
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Parasitic Sensitivity Tests
  • Plasmodium falciparum / drug effects*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / growth & development
  • Plasmodium falciparum / metabolism
  • Plasmodium yoelii / drug effects
  • Plasmodium yoelii / growth & development
  • Spermidine / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Spermidine / metabolism*
  • Trypanosoma / drug effects*
  • Trypanosoma / metabolism
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / drug effects
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / drug therapy
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / parasitology


  • Antimalarials
  • Antiparasitic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Spermidine