Author(s): Delgado M, Anderson P, GarciaSalcedo JA, Caro M, GonzalezRey E
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Abstract Trypanosoma brucei is the causative agent of African sleeping sickness. Available treatments are ineffective, toxic and susceptible to resistance by the parasite. Here we show that various endogenous neuropeptides act as potent antitrypanosome agents. Neuropeptides exerted their trypanolytic activity through an unusual mechanism that involves peptide uptake by the parasite, disruption of lysosome integrity and cytosolic accumulation of glycolytic enzymes. This promotes an energetic metabolism failure that initiates an autophagic-like cell death. Neuropeptide-based treatment improved clinical signs in a chronic model of trypanosomiasis by reducing the parasite burden in various target organs. Of physiological importance is the fact that hosts respond to trypanosome infection producing neuropeptides as part of their natural innate defense. From a therapeutic point of view, targeting of intracellular compartments by neuropeptides suppose a new promising strategy for the treatment of trypanosomiasis.
This article was published in Cell Death Differ
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals