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Review Article Open Access

Anti Leishmanial Activities of Some Antidepressant Drugs


Leishmaniasis is a complex vector-borne disease caused by different species of Leishmania. It affects at least 12 million people worldwide. Leishmaniasis is commonly associated with poor economic conditions and immune compromised situations like HIV co infection. There is increasing in drug resistance to commonly used therapeutics as well as lack of vaccine program. This leads to a perpetual search for a new drug for leishmaniasis. This review fundamentally deals with some antidepressant drugs showing the anti leishmanial activities. These antidepressant drugs are Imipramine, Sertraline, Ketanserin and Mianserin. Imipramine being a Tri Cyclic Antidepressant (TCA) drug kills Leishmania donovani elevating IL-12/IL-10 ratio. Sertraline belonging to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs, removes parasite loads from spleen and liver probably by declining cytoplasmic ATP consumption. Ketanserin is a serotonin receptor (5-HT2A/2C) antagonist that kills both amastigote and promastigotes probably due to inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGR). Mianserin belonging to the TCA group of drug, kills both promastigote and amastigote parasites also probably due to the inhibition of HMGR. The present review will give the summarized information about putting some old antidepressant drugs for the treatment of another disease like Leishmania.

Paramita Sarkar and Madhumita Manna

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