Malaria represents a major health problem worldwide, affecting around 198 million people in 2016 according to WHO database. For decades, anti-malarial drug therapy has been used in the battle against this disease and its uncontrolled usage in endemic areas has developed the appearance of the drug resistance. Thus, it has emerged the necessity of finding new treatments that could be used as an alternative cure to malaria infection. The aim of this work was the evaluation of two photo-excitable compounds: Compound 1, which is (2E)-3-(4-dimethylamino-phenyl)-1-(4-imidazol-1-yl-phenyl)prop-2-en-1-one) and Compound 2, (1E,4E)-1-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-5-(4-methoxyphenyl)-1,4-pentadiene-3-one) as possible anti-malaria drugs with Plasmodium berghei ANKA strain in BALB/c mice as murine model. Cytotoxicity effect was evaluated by a cell proliferation by colorimetry assay (MTS); and the drug incorporation into the parasite was assessed in vitro with Indirect Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA) to determine the localization of the drugs into the parasitized red blood cells (RBCs). Finally, the curative effect of compounds no-radiation (fundamental state) and ration drugs were evaluated by oral drug administration of this drugs in BALB/c mice and chloroquine was used as positive control. This curative effect was determined daily by the parasitemia percentage. The results showed that both compounds were cytotoxic in fundamental state. Furthermore, cytotoxic effect was increased after radiation into the Solar Simulator, and compound 2 was more cytotoxic than compound 1. Curative assays showed that both compounds in fundamental state were non effective as anti-malarial drug. However, in the curative assays in the mice treated with compound 2, when this was ration showed a survival rate of 33 % and a parasitemia percentage decrease in compare to compound 1. Although the compounds did not show a similar or better anti-malarial effect than Chloroquine, Compound 2 presented certain anti-malarial effect after solar radiation. Rev. Biol. Trop. 66(2): 880-891. Epub 2018 June 01.


Keywords: Plasmodium berghei, solar radiation, cytotoxicity, antimalarial compound.