Potent in vitro antileishmanial activity of a nanoformulation of cisplatin with carbon nanotubes against Leishmania major

J Glob Antimicrob Resist. 2019 Mar;16:11-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jgar.2018.09.004. Epub 2018 Sep 20.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the cytotoxicity and antileishmanial activity of cisplatin-bonded carbon nanotubes both against promastigotes and amastigotes of Leishmania major in vitro.

Methods: Cisplatin-bonded single-walled carbon nanotubes (CP-SWCNT) and cisplatin-bonded multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CP-MWCNT) were considered as test compounds. In addition, SWCNT, MWCNT, free cisplatin and meglumine antimoniate (Glucantime®) were considered as controls. The effect of each compound was evaluated both on promastigote and amastigote stages of L. major and the results were compared.

Results: There was a statistically significant difference between the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of CP-SWCNT and each of the controls, including SWCNT, cisplatin and Glucantime® (P<0.05). In addition, IC50 values of CP-MWCNT and each of the controls, including MWCNT, cisplatin and Glucantime®, were significantly different both for promastigotes and amastigotes (P<0.05). However, the selectivity index (SI) of CP-SWCNT was <10 (5.23), indicating that this compound is not completely safe. Moreover, the SI values of CP-MWCNT (12.54) and Glucantime® (16.28) were >10, indicating the selective effect of these two compounds on the parasite. Moreover, the IC50 of CP-MWCNT (0.11±0.09μM) for amastigotes was 41-fold lower than that of Glucantime® (4.52±1.31μM), suggesting that a lower dose of CP-MWCNT in comparison with Glucantime® is required to kill 50% of amastigotes.

Conclusions: According to the potent in vitro antileishmanial activity of CP-MWCNT at low concentration against L. major, we suggest that they are evaluated in an animal model.

Keywords: Carbon nanotubes; Cisplatin; Cytotoxicity; Leishmania major.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiprotozoal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cisplatin / chemistry
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology*
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Leishmania major / drug effects*
  • Life Cycle Stages
  • Meglumine Antimoniate / pharmacology
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / chemistry*


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Meglumine Antimoniate
  • Cisplatin