RESULTS: Anti-ICAM-1 and CD36 monoclonal antibodies were able to inhibit and reverse P. falciparum binding of lab and recently adapted patient isolates in vitro. However, reversal of binding was incomplete and varied in its efficiency between parasite isolates.
CONCLUSIONS: The results show that, as a proof of concept, disturbing existing ligand-receptor interactions is possible and could have potential therapeutic value for severe malaria. The variation seen in the degree of reversing existing binding with different parasite isolates and the incomplete nature of reversal, despite the use of high affinity inhibitors, suggest that anti-adhesion approaches as adjunct therapies for severe malaria may not be effective, and the focus may need to be on inhibitory approaches such as vaccines.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: PA exerted selective cytotoxicity on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with IC(50) value of 6.91 ± 0.85 µM when compared to human normal fibroblast and normal liver epithelial cells. Assessment of the growth kinetics by cell impedance-based Real-Time Cell Analyzer showed that PA induced both cytotoxic and cytostatic effects on HUVECs, depending on the concentration used. Results also showed that PA suppressed VEGF-induced survival and proliferation of HUVECs. Furthermore, endothelial cell migration, invasion, and morphogenesis or tube formation demonstrated significant time- and dose-dependent inhibition by PA. PA also suppressed matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) secretion and attenuated its activation to intermediate and active MMP-2. In addition, PA suppressed F-actin stress fiber formation to prevent migration of the endothelial cells. More importantly, anti-angiogenic potential of PA was also evidenced in two in vivo models. PA inhibited neo-vessels formation in murine Matrigel plugs, and angiogenesis in zebrafish embryos.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, our study demonstrated the distinctive anti-angiogenic properties of PA, both in vitro and in vivo. This report thus reveals another biological activity of PA in addition to its reported anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities, suggestive of PA's potential for development as an anti-angiogenic agent for cancer therapy.