Proanthocyanidins inhibit Ascaris suum glutathione-S-transferase activity and increase susceptibility of larvae to levamisole in vitro

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Proanthocyanidins (PAC) are a class of plant secondary metabolites commonly found in the diet that have shown potential to control gastrointestinal nematode infections. The anti-parasitic mechanism(s) of PAC remain obscure, however the protein-binding properties of PAC suggest that disturbance of key enzyme functions may be a potential mode of action. Glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs) are essential for parasite detoxification and have been investigated as drug and vaccine targets. Here, we show that purified PAC strongly inhibit the activity of both recombinant and native GSTs from the parasitic nematode Ascaris suum. As GSTs are involved in detoxifying xenobiotic substances within the parasite, we hypothesised that this inhibition may render parasites hyper-susceptible to anthelmintic drugs. Migration inhibition assays with A. suum larvae demonstrated that the potency of levamisole (LEV) and ivermectin (IVM) were significantly increased in the presence of PAC purified from pine bark (4.6-fold and 3.2-fold reduction in IC50 value for LEV and IVM, respectively). Synergy analysis revealed that the relationship between PAC and LEV appeared to be synergistic in nature, suggesting a specific enhancement of LEV activity, whilst the relationship between PAC and IVM was additive rather than synergistic, suggesting independent actions. Our results demonstrate that these common dietary compounds may increase the efficacy of synthetic anthelmintic drugs in vitro, and also suggest one possible mechanism for their well-known anti-parasitic activity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalParasitology International
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)336-339
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

ID: 161189087