METHODS: The role of ion transporters in the encystation and excystation of Acanthamoeba remains unclear. Here, we investigated the role of sodium, potassium and calcium ion transporters as well as proton pump inhibitors on A. castellanii encystation and excystation and their effects on trophozoites.
RESULTS: Remarkably 3',4'-dichlorobenzamil hydrochloride a sodium-calcium exchange inhibitor, completely abolished excystation of Acanthamoeba. Furthermore, lanthanum oxide and stevioside hydrate, both potassium transport inhibitors, resulted in the partial inhibition of Acanthamoeba excystation. Conversely, none of the ion transport inhibitors affected encystation or had any effects on Acanthamoeba trophozoites viability.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study indicates that ion transporters are involved in sensory perception of A. castellanii suggesting their value as potential therapeutic targets to block cellular differentiation that presents a significant challenge in the successful prognosis of Acanthamoeba infections.