Human leishmaniasis covers a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from selfhealing cutaneous leishmaniasis to severe and lethal visceral leishmaniasis caused among other species by Leishmania major or Leishmania donovani, respectively. Some drug candidates are in clinical trials to substitute current therapies, which are facing emerging drugresistance accompanied with serious side effects. Here, two cinnamic acid bornyl ester derivatives (1 and 2) were assessed for their antileishmanial activity. Good selectivity and antileishmanial activity of bornyl 3-phenylpropanoate (2) in vitro prompted the antileishmanial assessment in vivo. For this purpose, BALB/c mice were infected with Leishmania major promastigotes and treated with three doses of 50 mg/kg/day of compound 2. The treatment prevented the characteristic swelling at the site of infection and correlated with reduced parasite burden. Transmitted light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy of Leishmania major promastigotes revealed that compounds 1 and 2 induce mitochondrial swelling. Subsequent studies on Leishmania major promastigotes showed the loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (m) as a putative mode of action. As the cinnamic acid bornyl ester derivatives 1 and 2 had exhibited antileishmanial activity in vitro, and compound 2 in Leishmania major-infected BALB/c mice in vivo, they can be regarded as possible lead structures for the development of new antileishmanial therapeutic approaches.
Masic, A., Hernandez, A. M. V., Hazra, S., Glaser, J., Holzgrabe, U., Hazra, B., & Schurigt, U. (2015). Cinnamic acid bornyl ester derivatives from valeriana wallichii exhibit antileishmanial in vivo activity in leishmania major-infected BALB/c Mice. PLoS ONE, 10(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0142386