Biological activity of three novel complexes with the ligand 5-methyl-1,2,4-triazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-7(4H)-one against Leishmania spp.

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ObjectivesWe report on new 1,2,4-triazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine complexes that have been developed and examined for both antiproliferative in vitro activity against Leishmania infantum and Leishmania braziliensis, and report their possible mechanism of action on L. infantum and L. braziliensis.ResultsAntileishmanial effects are described for newly synthesized Cu(II) and Co(II) complexes containing 5-methyl-1,2,4-triazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-7(4H)-one (HmtpO) as a ligand. These complexes display a wide structural diversity: (i) mononuclear unit, [Cu(HmtpO)2(H2O)3](ClO4)2·H2O (1); (ii) two-dimensional framework, {[Cu(HmtpO)2(H2O)2](ClO4)2·2HmtpO}n (2); and (iii) chains, {[Co(HmtpO)(H2O)3](ClO4)2·2H2O}n (3). Compounds 1 and 2 appeared to be the most active against L. infantum (IC50 20.0 and 24.4 μM, respectively), and compounds 1 and 3 the most active against L. braziliensis (IC50 22.1 and 23.5 μM, respectively), with IC50s similar to those of the reference drug, glucantime (18.0 μM for L. infantum and 25.6 μM for L. braziliensis). These compounds were not toxic towards J774.2 macrophages. IC25 decreased infection capacity and severely reduced the multiplication of intracellular amastigotes, following the trend 1 > 3 > 2 for L. infantum and 3 > 1 > 2 for L. braziliensis. These complexes had an effect on the energy metabolism of the parasites at the level of the NAD+/NADH balance and the organelle membranes, causing their degradation and cell death.ConclusionsCellular proliferation, metabolic and ultrastructural studies showed that the compounds 2 > 1 > 3 were highly active against L. infantum and L. braziliensis.

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