The determination of the intrinsic sensitivity of Leishmania strains to pentavalent antimonials in clinical trials, before treatment is begun, is essential in order to avoid failures and to allow alternative drugs to be chosen. A comparative study of SbV activity on promastigotes, axenic amastigote-like cells, and intracellular amastigotes of Leishmania infantum, when administered in the form of meglumine antimoniate and free, in hydrochloric solution, was performed. Results indicate that the conditions under which the promastigotes were cultured affect the IC50 obtained, although results were homogeneous when the products were assayed on axenic-like and intracellular amastigotes. The IC50 obtained for SbV in the form of meglumine antimoniate or in hydrochloric solution on promastigotes cultured in Schneider's medium depends on the growth rate of the culture and therefore could be regulated by modifying the fetal calf serum concentration in the medium. The pH of the culture medium strongly affected the activity of meglumine antimoniate but not that of the SbV hydrochloric solution on promastigotes cultured in Schneider's medium. This influence of pH was observed to a much lesser extent when promastigotes were cultured on M199 or RPMI media. In homogeneous culture conditions, which included the regulation of the promastigote growth rate through the heat-inactivated fetal calf serum concentration in the medium and the dilution of the meglumine antimoniate with Schneider's medium at pH 6.5, the activity of SbV, free or in the form of meglumine antimoniate, was the same in promastigotes, intracellular amastigotes, and axenic amastigote-like cells. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
- AALC axenic amastigote-like cells
- AP, acid phosphatase
- Culture conditions
- HIFCS, heat-inactivated fetal calf serum
- IA, intracellular amastigotes
- Leishmania infantum
- SbV, pentavalent antimony