Evaluation of synergistic therapeutic effect of shark cartilage extract with artemisinin and glucantime on visceral leishmaniasis in BALB/c mice

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Parasitology, School of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Deputy of Research, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran

3 Department of Immunology, School of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Virology, Iranian Blood Transfusion, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): Because leishmaniasis is related to the impaired functioning of T-cells, the use of an immunomodulator can increase the efficacy of antileishmanial therapy in visceral leishmaniasis. In this study, we used shark cartilage extract with artemisinin and glucantime against visceral leishmaniasis in BALB/c mice, and evaluated the synergistic therapeutic effect.
Materials and Methods: The culturing method and quantitative real-time PCR by using the kDNA gene was used to detect parasite loads in the spleen and liver. INF-γ and IL-4 cytokine levels and survival rates were assayed.
Results: The drug therapy with target drugs reduced parasite burden in the spleen and liver significantly. Although parasite burden was lower in the artemisinin treated group than in the glucantime treated group (P<0.05). The mice survival rate records, throughout the experimental period, showed highly significant survival rates in the test groups compared to the control group (P<0.001). The results of cytokine assay in mice treated with glucantime-shark cartilage extract combination indicated significant increases of IFNγ and IL-4 (P<0.05). Although the increase of IFNγ was more notable than IL-4. The synergistic therapeutic effect is shown in all groups except in the group treated with shark cartilage extract-artemisinin combination. The IFN-γ in glucantime-shark cartilage extract combination treated group was higher than in other groups (P<0.05). The survival rate in this group was more than in other groups too (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Combination therapy with shark cartilage extract as an immunomodulator can increase antileishmanial effects of antimony drugs in VL treatment.


Main Subjects

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