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Biodistribution of meglumine antimoniate in healthy and Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum chagasi-infected BALB/c mice

Borborema, S.E.T.; Osso, J.ão.A.; Andrade, H.F.d.; Nascimento, N.d.

Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 108(5): 623-630

2013


ISSN/ISBN: 1678-8060
PMID: 23903979
DOI: 10.1590/0074-0276108052013014
Accession: 051804378

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Pentavalent antimonials such as meglumine antimoniate (MA) are the primary treatments for leishmaniasis, a complex disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania . Despite over 70 years of clinical use, their mechanisms of action, toxicity and pharmacokinetics have not been fully elucidated. Radiotracer studies performed on animals have the potential to play a major role in pharmaceutical development. The aims of this study were to prepare an antimony radiotracer by neutron irradiation of MA and to determine the biodistribution of MA in healthy and Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum chagasi-infected mice. MA (Glucantime®) was neutron irradiated inside the IEA-R1 nuclear reactor, producing two radioisotopes, ¹²²Sb and ¹²⁴Sb, with high radionuclidic purity and good specific activity. This irradiated compound presented anti-leishmanial activity similar to that of non-irradiated MA in both in vitro and in vivo evaluations. In the biodistribution studies, healthy mice showed higher uptake of antimony in the liver than infected mice and elimination occurred primarily through biliary excretion, with a small proportion of the drug excreted by the kidneys. The serum kinetic curve was bi-exponential, with two compartments: the central compartment and another compartment associated with drug excretion. Radiotracers, which can be easily produced by neutron irradiation, were demonstrated to be an interesting tool for answering several questions regarding antimonial pharmacokinetics and chemotherapy.

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