Arsenic trioxide and melarsoprol induce apoptosis in plasma cell lines and in plasma cells from myeloma patients.
Recent data have renewed the interest for arsenic-containing compounds as anticancer agents. In particular, arsenic trioxide (As2O3) has been demonstrated to be an effective drug in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia by inducing programmed cell death in leukemic cells both in vitro and in vivo. This prompted us to study the in vitro effects of As2O3 and of another arsenical derivative, the organic compound melarsoprol, on human myeloma cells and on the plasma cell differentiation of normal B cells. At pharmacological concentrations (10(-8) to 10(-6) mol/L), As2O3 and melarsoprol caused a dose- and time-dependent inhibition of survival and growth in myeloma cell lines that was, in some, similar to that of acute promyelocytic leukemia cells. Both arsenical compounds induced plasma cell apoptosis, as assessed by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining, detection of phosphatidylserine at the cell surface using annexin V, and by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end labeling assay. As2O3 and melarsoprol also inhibited viability and growth and induced apoptosis in plasma-cell enriched preparations from the bone marrow or blood of myeloma patients. In nonseparated bone marrow samples, both arsenical compounds triggered death in myeloma cells while sparing most myeloid cells, as demonstrated by double staining with annexin V and CD38 or CD15 antibodies. In primary myeloma cells as in cell lines, interleukin 6 did not prevent arsenic-induced cell death or growth inhibition, and no synergistic effect was observed with IFN-alpha. In contrast to As2O3, melarsoprol only slightly reduced the plasma cell differentiation of normal B cells induced by pokeweed mitogen. Both pokeweed mitogen-induced normal plasma cells and malignant plasma cells showed a normal nuclear distribution of PML protein, which was disrupted by As2O3 but not by melarsoprol, suggesting that the two arsenical derivatives acted by different mechanisms. These results point to the use of arsenical derivatives as investigational drugs in the treatment of multiple myeloma. (+info)
Reversal of the sleep/wake cycle disorder of sleeping sickness after trypanosomicide treatment.
To determine whether the circadian disruption of the sleep/wake cycle observed in sleeping sickness, human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), can be reversed after trypanosomicide treatment, 10 Congolese patients infected by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense underwent 24-h polysomnographic recordings before treatment with melarsoprol and after each of three weekly treatment sessions. Polysomnography consisted of a continuous recording of the electroencephalogram, electromyogram and electro-oculogram on a Minidix Alvar polygraph. Sleep traces were analysed in 20-sec epochs for wakefulness, REM sleep, and NREM sleep [stages 1, 2, 3, 4; stages 3 and 4 representing slow-wave sleep (SWS)]. As previously described (Buguet et al. 1993), the 24-h distribution of the sleep/wake cycle was disturbed proportionally to the severity of the illness. The overall amounts of each sleep/wake stage did not change after treatment. However, the patterns of occurrence of sleep episodes, REM sleep and SWS phases were determinant in the evaluation of treatment efficacy. The trypanosomicide action of melarsoprol led to a reduction in the number of sleep episodes, except in one patient whose health condition worsened during the third treatment session: sleep onset REM sleep phases (SOREMPs) decreased and the number of SWS episodes during a sleep episode increased. We conclude that in HAT, the reversibility of the sleep/wake cycle alteration and that of sleep structure constitute the basis for an evaluation of the healing process. (+info)
Rhodesian trypanosomiasis in a splenectomized patient.
We report the first apparent case of a splenectomized individual who developed severe trypanosomiasis with central nervous system involvement. The patient was a 41-year-old man who participated in an east African safari. Upon his return to the United States, the patient presented with an infection with Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense that was treated successfully with suramin and melarsoprol. The onset of symptoms, laboratory studies, and disease progression did not differ from previously reported cases in the literature. The role of the spleen in trypanosomiasis is not well understood and the few reports available describe only animal models. This report suggests that asplenia had no apparent effect on the onset of symptoms and overall severity of illness. Further studies are necessary to ultimately define the role of the spleen in trypanosomiasis. (+info)
Use of polymerase chain reaction in human African trypanosomiasis stage determination and follow-up.
Stage determination of human African trypanosomiasis is based on the detection of parasites and measurements of biological changes in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (concentration of white blood cells > 5 cells per mm3 and increased total protein levels). The patient is treated accordingly. Demonstration of the absence or presence of trypanosomes by the double centrifugation technique is still the only test available to clinicians for assessing treatment success. In this study, however, we evaluate the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a tool for assessing the disease stage of trypanosomiasis and for determining whether treatment has been successful. All 15 study patients considered to be in the advanced stage of the disease were PCR positive; however, trypanosomes were demonstrated by double centrifugation in only 11 patients. Of the five remaining patients, who were considered to be in the early stage, PCR and double centrifugation were negative. Following treatment, 13 of the 15 second-stage patients were found to be negative for the disease in at least two samples by PCR and double centrifugation. Two others were still positive by PCR immediately and one month after the treatment. Trypanosome DNA detection using PCR suggested that the two positive patients were not cured but that their possible relapse could not be identified by a search for parasites using the double centrifugation technique. Further evaluation of the PCR method is required, in particular to determine whether PCR assays could be used in studies on patients who fail to respond to melarsoprol, as observed in several foci. (+info)
African trypanosomiasis in two travelers from the United States.
African trypanosomiasis is a rare but well-documented cause of fever in United States travelers returning from areas where it is endemic. We report two recently diagnosed cases that involved tourists who went on safari in Tanzania. Review of these and 29 other published cases indicates that disease in returning United States travelers is nearly always of the East African form, a fulminant illness for which prompt diagnosis is necessary. In the United States, timely and appropriate therapy for this disease has resulted in favorable outcomes for most patients. Chemoprophylaxis for East African trypanosomiasis is not recommended, but travelers visiting areas of endemicity should practice appropriate preventive measures to prevent tsetse fly bites. (+info)
Towards developing a diagnostic regimen for the treatment follow-up of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense.
BALB/c mice infected with a high virulent strain of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense IL3707 were treated intraperitoneally (i.p.) with either Melarsoprol (Mel-B) or PSG(+) buffer as controls. The mice were subsequently monitored regularly for parasites by direct microscopic examination of their tail blood or buffy coat and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Mel-B was found to be an effective drug for treatment against T.b. gambiense because at the end of the first treatment schedule, all treated mice were negative for parasites even by PCR, while all the control animals were positive. Three of the five Mel-B treated mice, while parasitologically negative, were PCR positive between 53 and 80 days post infection (DPI), indicating that they still harbored an infection. All treated mice were subsequently negative for parasites even by PCR at 88 DPI. A combination of conventional microscopic examination and PCR offers a good prediction of cure following treatment of trypanosomosis. (+info)
Novel therapeutic approach: organic arsenical melarsoprol) alone or with all-trans-retinoic acid markedly inhibit growth of human breast and prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.
The organic arsenical known as melarsoprol (Mel-B) is used to treat African trypanosomiasis. Recently, another arsenical, As2O3 was shown to be effective in treatment of acute promyelocytic leukaemia. We have investigated the anti-tumour activities of Mel-B either with or without all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) using the MCF-7 human breast cancer cells, as well as the PC-3 and DU 145 human prostate cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. The antiproliferative effects of Mel-B and/or ATRA against breast and prostate cancer were tested in vitro using clonogenic assays and in vivo in triple immunodeficient mice. Furthermore, the mechanism of action of these compounds was studied by examining the cell cycle, levels of bcl-2, apoptosis and antiproliferative potency using a pulse-exposure assay. Clonogenic assays showed that the cancer cell lines were sensitive to the inhibitory effect of Mel-B (effective dose that inhibited 50% clonal growth [ED50]: 7 x 10(-9) M for MCF-7, 2 x 10(-7) M for PC-3, 3 x 10(-7) M for DU145 cells. Remarkably, the combination of Mel-B and ATRA had an enhanced antiproliferative activity against all three cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the combination of Mel-B and ATRA induced a high level of apoptosis in all three cell lines. Treatment of PC-3 and MCF-7 tumours growing in triple immunodeficient mice with Mel-B and ATRA either alone or in combination markedly retarded tumour size and weight of the tumours without major side-effects. In conclusion, our results suggest that either Mel-B alone or with ATRA may be a useful, novel therapy for breast and prostate cancers. (+info)
Clinical description of encephalopathic syndromes and risk factors for their occurrence and outcome during melarsoprol treatment of human African trypanosomiasis.
Encephalopathies are the most feared complications of sleeping sickness treatment with melarsoprol. To investigate the existence of risk factors, the incidence of encephalopathic syndromes and the relationship between the development of different types of encephalopathies and the clinical outcome was studied in a clinical trial with 588 patients under treatment with melarsoprol. The 38 encephalopathy cases were classified into three types according to the leading clinical picture: coma type, convulsion type and psychotic reactions. Nine patients were attributed to the convulsion type, defined as a transient event of short duration with convulsions followed by a post-ictal phase, without signs of a generalized disease. None of these patients died from the reaction. Febrile reactions in the 48 h preceding the reaction were generally not observed in this group. Twenty-five patients were attributed to the coma type, which is a progredient coma lasting several days. Those patients often had signs of a generalized disease such as fever (84%), headache (72%) or bullous skin (8%) reactions. The risk of mortality was high in this group (52%). About 14/16 patients with encephalopathic syndrome of the coma type were infected with malaria. Patients with psychotic reactions or abnormal psychiatric behaviour (3/38) and one patient who died after alcohol intake were excluded from the analysis. The overall rate of encephalopathic syndromes in the cases analysed (n=34) was 5.8%, of which 38.2% died. We did not find any parameters of predictive value for the risk of developing an encephalopathic syndrome based on the symptoms and signs before treatment initiation. The appearance during treatment of febrile reactions (RR 11.5), headache (RR 2.5), bullous eruptions (RR 4.5) and systolic hypotension (RR 2.6) were associated with an increased risk for the occurrence of encephalopathic syndromes especially of the coma type. (+info)