Licochalcone A, a new antimalarial agent, inhibits in vitro growth of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and protects mice from P. yoelii infection.

Abstract

Licochalcone A, isolated from Chinese licorice roots, inhibited the in vitro growth of both chloroquine-susceptible (3D7) and chloroquine-resistant (Dd2) Plasmodium falciparum strains in a [3H]hypoxanthine uptake assay. The growth inhibition of the chloroquine-resistant strain by licochalcone A was similar to that of the chloroquine-susceptible strain. To examine the activity of licochalcone A on the different asexual blood stages of the parasite, licochalcone A was added to highly synchronized cultures containing rings, trophozoites, and schizonts. The growth of the parasites at all stages was inhibited by licochalcone A. The in vivo activity of licochalcone A was tested in a mouse model of infection with P. yoelii. Licochalcone A administered either intraperitoneally or orally for 3 to 6 days protected the mice from the otherwise lethal P. yoelii infection. These results demonstrate that licochalcone A exhibits potent antimalarial activity and might be developed into a new antimalarial drug.

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@article{Chen1994LicochalconeAA, title={Licochalcone A, a new antimalarial agent, inhibits in vitro growth of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and protects mice from P. yoelii infection.}, author={M Chen and T G Theander and S B Christensen and L Hviid and L Zhai and A Kharazmi}, journal={Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy}, year={1994}, volume={38 7}, pages={1470-5} }