Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a standout among the most dangerous class of central nervous system (CNS) cancer, is most common and is an aggressive malignant brain tumor in adults. In spite of developments in modality therapy, it remains mostly incurable. Consequently, the need for novel systems, strategies, or therapeutic approaches for enhancing the assortment of active agents meant for GBM becomes an important criterion. Currently, cancer research focuses mainly on improving the treatment of GBM via diverse novel drug delivery systems. The treatment options at diagnosis are multimodal and include radiation therapy. Moreover, significant advances in understanding the molecular pathology of GBM and associated cell signaling pathways have opened opportunities for new therapies. Innovative treatment such as immunotherapy also gives hope for enhanced survival. The objective of this work was to collect and report the recent research findings to manage GBM. The present review includes existing novel drug delivery systems and therapies intended for managing GBM. Reported novel drug delivery systems and diverse therapies seem to be precise, secure, and relatively effective, which could lead to a new track for the obliteration of GBM.
Naegleria fowleri (N. fowleri) causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) which almost always results in death. N. fowleri is also known as "brain-eating amoeba" due to its literal infestation of the brain leading to an inflammatory response in the brain tissues. Currently, there is no single drug that is available to treat PAM, and most treatments are combinations of antifungal, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Recently nanotechnology has gained attention in chemotherapeutic research converging on drug delivery, while oleic acid (OA) has shown positive effects on the human immune system and inflammatory processes. In continuation of our recent research in which we reported the effects of oleic acid conjugated with silver nanoparticles (OA-AgNPs) against free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii, in this report, we show their antiamoebic effects against N. fowleri. OA alone and its nanoconjugates were tested against the amoeba by using amoebicidal and host cell cytopathogenicity assays. Trypan blue exclusion assay was used to determine cell viability. The results revealed that OA-AgNPs exhibited significantly enhanced antiamoebic effects (P < 0.05) against N. fowleri as compared to OA alone. Evidently, lactate dehydrogenase release shows reduced N. fowleri-mediated host cell cytotoxicity. Based on our study, we anticipate that further studies on OA-AgNPs could potentially provide an alternative treatment of PAM.
Emerging findings point toward an important interconnection between epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Patients with epilepsy (PWE) commonly exhibit cognitive impairment similar to AD patients, who in turn are at a higher risk of developing epilepsy compared to age-matched controls. To date, no disease-modifying treatment strategy is available for either epilepsy or AD, reflecting an immediate need for exploring common molecular targets, which can delineate a possible mechanistic link between epilepsy and AD. This review attempts to disentangle the interconnectivity between epilepsy and AD pathogenesis via the crucial contribution of Tau protein. Tau protein is a microtubule-associated protein (MAP) that has been implicated in the pathophysiology of both epilepsy and AD. Hyperphosphorylation of Tau contributes to the different forms of human epilepsy and inhibition of the same exerted seizure inhibitions and altered disease progression in a range of animal models. Moreover, Tau-protein-mediated therapy has demonstrated promising outcomes in experimental models of AD. In this review, we discuss how Tau-related mechanisms might present a link between the cause of seizures in epilepsy and cognitive disruption in AD. Untangling this interconnection might be instrumental in designing novel therapies that can minimize epileptic seizures and cognitive deficits in patients with epilepsy and AD.
Long-COVID is a postviral illness that can affect survivors of COVID-19, regardless of initial disease severity or age. Symptoms of long-COVID include fatigue, dyspnea, gastrointestinal and cardiac problems, cognitive impairments, myalgia, and others. While the possible causes of long-COVID include long-term tissue damage, viral persistence, and chronic inflammation, the review proposes, perhaps for the first time, that persistent brainstem dysfunction may also be involved. This hypothesis can be split into two parts. The first is the brainstem tropism and damage in COVID-19. As the brainstem has a relatively high expression of ACE2 receptor compared with other brain regions, SARS-CoV-2 may exhibit tropism therein. Evidence also exists that neuropilin-1, a co-receptor of SARS-CoV-2, may be expressed in the brainstem. Indeed, autopsy studies have found SARS-CoV-2 RNA and proteins in the brainstem. The brainstem is also highly prone to damage from pathological immune or vascular activation, which has also been observed in autopsy of COVID-19 cases. The second part concerns functions of the brainstem that overlap with symptoms of long-COVID. The brainstem contains numerous distinct nuclei and subparts that regulate the respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and neurological processes, which can be linked to long-COVID. As neurons do not readily regenerate, brainstem dysfunction may be long-lasting and, thus, is long-COVID. Indeed, brainstem dysfunction has been implicated in other similar disorders, such as chronic pain and migraine and myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Glycyrrhizin (glycyrrhizic acid), a bioactive triterpenoid saponin constituent of Glycyrrhiza glabra, is a traditional medicine possessing a plethora of pharmacological anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiaging properties. It is a known pharmacological inhibitor of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), a ubiquitous protein with proinflammatory cytokine-like activity. HMGB1 has been implicated in an array of inflammatory diseases when released extracellularly, mainly by activating intracellular signaling upon binding to the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). HMGB1 neutralization strategies have demonstrated disease-modifying outcomes in several preclinical models of neurological disorders. Herein, we reveal the potential neuroprotective effects of glycyrrhizin against several neurological disorders. Emerging findings demonstrate the therapeutic potential of glycyrrhizin against several HMGB1-mediated pathological conditions including traumatic brain injury, neuroinflammation and associated conditions, epileptic seizures, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. Glycyrrhizin's effects in neurological disorders are mainly attributed to the attenuation of neuronal damage by inhibiting HMGB1 expression and translocation as well as by downregulating the expression of inflammatory cytokines. A large number of preclinical findings supports the notion that glycyrrhizin might be a promising therapeutic alternative to overcome the shortcomings of the mainstream therapeutic strategies against neurological disorders, mainly by halting disease progression. However, future research is warranted for a deeper exploration of the precise underlying molecular mechanism as well as for clinical translation.
Dysbiosis of gut microbiota may lead to a range of diseases including neurological disorders. Thus, it is hypothesized that regulation of the intestinal microbiota may prevent or treat epilepsy. The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate the evidence investigating the relationship between gut microbiota and epilepsy and possible interventions. A systematic review of the literature was done on four databases (PubMed, Scopus, EMBASE, and Web of Science). Study selection was restricted to original research articles while following the PRISMA guidelines. Six studies were selected. These studies cohesively support the interaction between gut microbiota and epileptic seizures. Gut microbiota analysis identified increases in Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Fusobacteria with decreases in Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria in epileptic patients. Ketogenic diet, probiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) improved the dysbiosis of the gut microbiota and seizure activity. However, the studies either had a small sample size, lack of subject variability, or short study or follow-up period, which may question their reliability. Nevertheless, these limited studies conclusively suggest that gut microbiota diversity and dysbiosis may be involved in the pathology of epilepsy. Future studies providing more reliable and in depth insight into the gut microbial community will spark promising alternative therapies to current epilepsy treatment.
Sirtuins are class III histone deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes that target both histone and non-histone substrates. They are linked to different brain functions and the regulation of different isoforms of these enzymes is touted to be an emerging therapy for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), including Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The level of sirtuins affects brain health as many sirtuin-regulated pathways are responsible for the progression of NDs. Certain sirtuins are also implicated in aging, which is a risk factor for many NDs. In addition to SIRT1-3, it has been suggested that the less studied sirtuins (SIRT4-7) also play critical roles in brain health. This review delineates the role of each sirtuin isoform in NDs from a disease centric perspective and provides an up-to-date overview of sirtuin modulators and their potential use as therapeutics in these diseases. Furthermore, the future perspectives for sirtuin modulator development and their therapeutic application in neurodegeneration are outlined in detail, hence providing a research direction for future studies.
Epilepsy is a result of unprovoked, uncontrollable, and repetitive outburst of abnormal and excessive electrical discharges, known as seizures, in the neurons. Epilepsy is a devastating neurological condition that affects 70 million people globally. Unfortunately, only two-thirds of epilepsy patients respond to antiepileptic drugs while others become drug resistant and may be more prone to epilepsy comorbidities such as SUDEP. Oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, imbalance in the excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters, and neuroinflammation are some of the common pathologies of neurological disorders and epilepsy. Studies suggests that melatonin, a pineal hormone that governs sleep-wake cycles, may be neuroprotective against neurological disorders and thus may be translated as an antiepileptic as well. Melatonin has been shown to be an antioxidant, antiexcitotoxic, and anti-inflammatory hormone/molecule in neurodegenerative diseases, which may contribute to its antiepileptic and neuroprotective properties in epilepsy as well. In addition, melatonin has evidently been shown to play a regulatory role in the cardiorespiratory system and sleep-wake cycles, which may have positive implications toward epilepsy associated comorbidities, such as SUDEP. However, studies investigating the changes in melatonin release due to epilepsy and melatonin's antiepileptic role have been inconclusive and scarce, respectively. Thus, this comprehensive review aims to summarize and elucidate the potential role of melatonin in the pathogenesis of epilepsy and its comorbidities, in hopes to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches that will improve the lives of epileptic patients, particularly those who are drug resistant.
Huntington's disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disease, normally starts in the prime of adult life, followed by a gradual occurrence of characteristic psychiatric disturbances and cognitive and motor dysfunction. To the best of our knowledge, there is no treatment available to completely mitigate the progression of HD. Among various therapeutic approaches, exhaustive literature reports have confirmed the medicinal benefits of natural products in HD experimental models. Building on this information, this review presents a brief overview of the neuroprotective mechanism(s) of natural products against in vitro/in vivo models of HD. Relevant studies were identified from several scientific databases, including PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Google Scholar. After screening through literature from 2005 to the present, a total of 14 medicinal plant species and 30 naturally isolated compounds investigated against HD based on either in vitro or in vivo models were included in the present review. Behavioral outcomes in the HD in vivo model showed that natural compounds significantly attenuated 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP) induced memory loss and motor incoordination. The biochemical alteration has been markedly alleviated with reduced lipid peroxidation, increased endogenous enzymatic antioxidants, reduced acetylcholinesterase activity, and increased mitochondrial energy production. Interestingly, following treatment with certain natural products, 3-NP-induced damage in the striatum was ameliorated, as seen histologically. Overall, natural products afforded varying degrees of neuroprotection in preclinical studies of HD via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, preservation of mitochondrial function, inhibition of apoptosis, and induction of autophagy.
Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a deadly brain infection, is caused by brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri. The current first line of treatment against PAM is a mixture of amphotericin B, rifampin, and miltefosine. Since, no single effective drug has been developed so far, the mortality rate is above 95%. Moreover, severe adverse side effects are associated with these drugs. Nanotechnology has provided several advances in biomedical applications especially in drug delivery and diagnosis. Herein, for the first time we report antiamoebic properties of cinnamic acid (CA) and gold nanoparticles conjugated with CA (CA-AuNPs) against N. fowleri. CA-AuNPs were successfully synthesized by sodium borohydride reduction of tetrachloroauric acid. Size and morphology were determined by atomic force microscopy (AFM) while the surface plasmon resonance band was analyzed by ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectrophotometry for the characterization of the nanoparticles. Amoebicidal and cytopathogenicity (host cell cytotoxicity) assays revealed that both CA and CA-AuNPs displayed significant anti- N. fowleri properties ( P < 0.05), whereas nanoparticles conjugation further enhanced the anti- N. fowleri effects of CA. This study established a potential drug lead, while CA-AuNPs appear to be promising candidate for drug discovery against PAM.
The lack of disease-modifying therapeutic strategies against epileptic seizures has caused a surge in preclinical research focused on exploring and developing novel therapeutic candidates for epilepsy. Compounds from traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) have gained much attention for a plethora of neurological diseases, including epilepsy. Herein, for the first time, we evaluated the anticonvulsive effects of schaftoside (SS), a TCM, on pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced epileptic seizures in zebrafish and examined the underlying mechanisms. We observed that SS pretreatments significantly suppressed seizure-like behavior and prolonged the onset of seizures. Zebrafish larvae pretreated with SS demonstrated downregulation of c-fos expression during seizures. PTZ-induced upregulation of apoptotic cells was decreased upon pretreatment with SS. Inflammatory phenomena during seizure progression including the upregulation of interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) were downregulated upon pretreatment with SS. The PTZ-induced recruitment of immunocytes was in turn reduced upon SS pretreatment. Moreover, SS pretreatment modulated oxidative stress, as demonstrated by decreased levels of catalase (CAT) and increased levels of glutathione peroxidase-1a (GPx1a) and manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD). However, pretreatment with SS modulated the PTZ-induced downregulation of the relative enzyme activity of CAT, GPx, and SOD. Hence, our findings suggest that SS pretreatment ameliorates PTZ-induced seizures, suppresses apoptosis, and downregulates the inflammatory response and oxidative stress, which potentially protect against further seizures in zebrafish.
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune T cell-dependent B cell-mediated disorder of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) characterized by fluctuating skeletal muscle weakness, most commonly attributed to pathogenic autoantibodies against postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs). Although MG pathogenesis is well-documented, there are no objective biomarkers that could effectively correlate with disease severity or MG clinical subtypes, and current treatment approaches are often ineffective. The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a multiligand cell-bound receptor highly implicated in proinflammatory responses and autoimmunity. Preclinical evidence demonstrates that RAGE and its ligand S100B are upregulated in rat models of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). S100B-mediated RAGE activation has been shown to exacerbate EAMG, by enhancing T cell proinflammatory responses, aggravating T helper (Th) subset imbalance, increasing AChR-specific T cell proliferative capacity, and promoting the production of antibodies against AChRs from the spleen. Soluble sRAGE and esRAGE, acting as decoys of RAGE ligands, are found to be significantly reduced in MG patients. Moreover, MG has been associated with increased serum levels of S100A12, S100B and HMGB1. Several studies have shown that the presence of thymic abnormalities, the onset age of MG, and the duration of the disease may affect the levels of these proteins in MG patients. Herein, we discuss the emerging role of RAGE and its ligands in MG immunopathogenesis, their clinical significance as promising biomarkers, as well as the potential therapeutic implications of targeting RAGE signaling in MG treatment.
Post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) is one of the detrimental outcomes of traumatic brain injury (TBI), resulting in recurrent seizures that impact daily life. However, the pathological relationship between PTE and TBI remains unclear, and commonly prescribed antiepileptic drugs (AED) are ineffective against PTE. Fortunately, emerging research implicates neuroinflammation, particularly, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), as the key mediator for PTE development. Thus, this review aims to examine the available literature regarding the role of TNF-α in PTE pathology and, subsequently, evaluate TNF-α as a possible target for its treatment. A comprehensive literature search was conducted on four databases including PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, and Scopus. Articles with relevance in investigating TNF-α expression in PTE were considered in this review. Critical evaluation of four articles that met the inclusion criteria suggests a proportional relationship between TNF-α expression and seizure susceptibilit and that neutralization or suppression of TNF-α release results in reduced susceptibility to seizures. In conclusion, this review elucidates the importance of TNF-α expression in epileptogenesis postinjury and urges future research to focus more on clinical studies involving TNF-α, which may provide clearer insight into PTE prevention, therefore improving the lives of PTE patients.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder with obscure pathogenesis and no disease-modifying therapy to date. AD is multifactorial disease that develops from the complex interplay of genetic factors and environmental exposures. The E4 allele of the gene encoding apolipoprotein E (APOE) is the most common genetic risk factor for AD, whereas the E2 allele acts in a protective manner. A growing amount of epidemiological evidence suggests that several lifestyle habits and environmental factors may interact with APOE alleles to synergistically affect the risk of AD development. Among them, physical exercise, dietary habits including fat intake and ketogenic diet, higher education, traumatic brain injury, cigarette smoking, coffee consumption, alcohol intake, and exposure to pesticides and sunlight have gained increasing attention. Although the current evidence is inconsistent, it seems that younger APOE4 carriers in preclinical stages may benefit mostly from preventive lifestyle interventions, whereas older APOE4 noncarriers with dementia may show the most pronounced effects. The large discrepancies between the epidemiological studies may be attributed to differences in the sample sizes, the demographic characteristics of the participants, including age and sex, the methodological design, and potential related exposures and comorbidities as possible cofounding factors. In this Review, we aim to discuss available evidence of the prominent APOE genotype-environment interactions in regard to cognitive decline with a focus on AD, providing an overview of the current landscape in this field and suggesting future directions.
Glycyrrhizin (GL) is a well-known pharmacological inhibitor of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) and is abundantly present in the licorice root (Glycyrrhiza radix). HMGB1 protein, a key mediator of neuroinflammation, has been implicated in several neurological disorders, including epilepsy. Epilepsy is a devastating neurological disorder with no effective disease-modifying treatment strategies yet, suggesting a pressing need for exploring novel therapeutic options. In the current investigation, using a second hit pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) induced chronic seizure model in adult zebrafish, regulated mRNA expression of HMGB1 was inhibited by pretreatment with GL (25, 50, and 100 mg/kg, ip). A molecular docking study suggests that GL establishes different binding interactions with the various amino acid chains of HMGB1 and Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4). Our finding suggests that GL pretreatment reduces/suppresses second hit PTZ induced seizure, as shown by the reduction in the seizure score. GL also regulates the second hit PTZ induced behavioral impairment and rescued second hit PTZ related memory impairment as demonstrated by an increase in the inflection ratio (IR) at the 3 h and 24 h T-maze trial. GL inhibited seizure-induced neuronal activity as demonstrated by reduced C-fos mRNA expression. GL also modulated mRNA expression of BDNF, CREB-1, and NPY. The possible mechanism underlying the anticonvulsive effect of GL could be attributed to its anti-inflammatory activity, as demonstrated by the downregulated mRNA expression level of HMGB1, TLR4, NF-kB, and TNF-α. Overall, our finding suggests that GL exerts an anticonvulsive effect and ameliorates seizure-related memory disruption plausibly through regulating of the HMGB1-TLR4-NF-kB axis.
Free-living amoebae include Acanthamoeba castellanii and Naegleria fowleri that are opportunistic protozoa responsible for life-threatening central nervous system infections with mortality rates over 90%. The rising number of cases and high mortality rates are indicative of the critical unmet need for the development of efficient drugs in order to avert future deaths. In this study, we assess the anti-amoebic capacity of a conducting polymer nanocomposite comprising polyaniline (PANI) and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) against A. castellanii and N. fowleri. We observed significant amoebicidal and cysticidal effects using 100 μg/mL PANI/hBN (P < 0.05). Further, the nanocomposite demonstrated negligible cytotoxicity toward HaCaT and primary human corneal epithelial cells (pHCECs). In evaluating the mode of inhibition of A. castellanii due to treatment with PANI/hBN, increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) was measured and scanning microscopy visualized the formation of pores in the amoebae. Overall, this study is suggestive of the potential of the PANI/hBN nanocomposite as a promising therapy for amoeba infections.
Pathogenic free-living amoebae including Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Naegleria fowleri cause infections of the central nervous system (CNS), which almost always prove fatal. The mortality rate is high with the CNS infections caused by these microbes despite modern developments in healthcare and antimicrobial chemotherapy. The low awareness, delayed diagnosis, and lack of effective drugs are major hurdles to overcome these challenges. Nanomaterials have emerged as vital tools for concurrent diagnosis and therapy, which are commonly referred to as theranostics. Nanomaterials offer highly sensitive diagnostic systems and viable therapeutic effects as a single modality. There has been good progress to develop nanomaterials based efficient theranostic systems against numerous kinds of tumors, but this field is yet immature in the context of infectious diseases, particularly parasitic infections. Herein, we describe the potential value of theranostic applications of nanomaterials against brain infections due to pathogenic amoebae.
Central nervous system (CNS) infections caused by free-living amoebae such as Acanthamoeba species and Naegleria fowleri are rare but fatal. A major challenge in the treatment against the infections caused by these amoebae is the discovery of novel compounds that can effectively cross the blood-brain barrier to penetrate the CNS. It is logical to test clinically approved drugs against CNS diseases for their potential antiamoebic effects since they are known for effective blood-brain barrier penetration and affect eukaryotic cell targets. The antiamoebic effects of clinically available drugs for seizures targeting gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) receptor and ion channels were tested against Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype and N. fowleri. Three such drugs, namely, diazepam (Valium), phenobarbitone (Luminal), phenytoin (Dilantin), and their silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were evaluated against both trophozoites and cysts stage. Drugs alone and drug conjugated silver nanoparticles were tested for amoebicidal, cysticidal, and host-cell cytotoxicity assays. Nanoparticles were synthesized by sodium borohydride reduction of silver nitrate with drugs as capping agents. Drug conjugated nanoconjugates were characterized by ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopies and atomic force microscopy (AFM). In vitro moebicidal assay showed potent amoebicidal effects for diazepam, phenobarbitone, and phenytoin-conjugated AgNPs as compared to drugs alone against A. castellanii and N. fowleri. Furthermore, both drugs and drug conjugated AgNPs showed compelling cysticidal effects. Drugs conjugations with silver nanoparticles enhanced their antiacanthamoebic activity. Interestingly, amoeba-mediated host-cell cytotoxicity was also significantly reduced by drugs alone as well as their nanoconjugates. Since, these drugs are being used to target CNS diseases, their evaluation against brain-eating amoebae seems feasible due to advantages such as permeability of the blood-brain barrier, established pharmacokinetics and dynamics, and United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Given the limited availability of effective drugs against brain-eating amoebae, the clinically available drugs tested here present potential for further in vivo studies.
The psychoactive plant kratom is a native plant to Southeast Asia, and its major bioactive alkaloid is mitragynine. Mitragynine exerts its analgesic properties by acting on the opioid receptors. One of its active metabolites, 7-hydroxymytraginine, is found to be 40 times more potent than mitragynine and 10 times more potent than morphine. Interestingly, current research suggests that mitragynine behaves as an atypical opioid agonist, possessing analgesic activity with less severe side effects than those of typical opioids. Although Thailand and Malaysia have criminalized the use, possession, growing, or selling of kratom due to its abuse potential, kratom still remains unregulated in the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) listed kratom as a "drug of concern" in 2008 with the intent to temporarily place mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine onto Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. However, responses from the general public, U.S. Congress, and Kratom Alliances had the DEA retract their intent. Kratom is currently marketed in the United States as a dietary or herbal supplement used to treat chronic pain, anxiety, and depression with over $207 million in annual sales in the United States alone. Here, we will review the traditional and medicinal uses of kratom along with the synthesis of its bioactive ingredients and their pharmacology, metabolism, and structure-activity relationships. The importance in society of this currently controversial substance will also be discussed.
Naegleria fowleri and Balamuthia mandrillaris are protist pathogens that infect the central nervous system, causing primary amoebic meningoencephalitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis with mortality rates of over 95%. Quinazolinones and their derivatives possess a wide spectrum of biological properties, but their antiamoebic effects against brain-eating amoebae have never been tested before. In this study, we synthesized a variety of 34 novel arylquinazolinones derivatives (Q1-Q34) by altering both quinazolinone core and aryl substituents. To study the antiamoebic activity of these synthetic arylquinazolinones, amoebicidal and amoebistatic assays were performed against N. fowleri and B. mandrillaris. Moreover, amoebae-mediated host cells cytotopathogenicity and cytotoxicity assays were performed against human keratinocytes cells in vitro. The results revealed that selected arylquinazolinones derivatives decreased the viability of B. mandrillaris and N. fowleri significantly (P < 0.05) and reduced cytopathogenicity of both parasites. Furthermore, these compounds were also found to be least cytotoxic against HaCat cells. Considering that nanoparticle-based materials possess potent in vitro activity against brain-eating amoebae, we conjugated quinazolinones derivatives with silver nanoparticles and showed that activities of the drugs were enhanced successfully after conjugation. The current study suggests that quinazolinones alone as well as conjugated with silver nanoparticles may serve as potent therapeutics against brain-eating amoebae.