A new heparan sulfate from the mollusk Nodipecten nodosus inhibits merozoite invasion and disrupts rosetting and cytoadherence of Plasmodium falciparum.

01 Jan 2019
Bastos MF, Albrecht L, Gomes AM, Lopes SC, Vicente CP, de Almeida RP, Cassiano GC, Fonseca RJ, Werneck CC, Pavão MS, Costa FT


Despite treatment with effective antimalarial drugs, the mortality rate is still high in severe cases of the disease, highlighting the need to find adjunct therapies that can inhibit the adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (Pf-iEs).


In this context, we evaluated a new heparan sulfate (HS) from Nodipecten nodosus for antimalarial activity and inhibition of P. falciparum cytoadhesion and rosetting.


Parasite inhibition was measured by SYBR green using a cytometer. HS was assessed in rosetting and cytoadhesion assays under static and flow conditions using Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) and human lymphatic endothelial cell (HLEC) cells expressing intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM1) and chondroitin sulfate A (CSA), respectively.


This HS inhibited merozoite invasion similar to heparin. Moreover, mollusk HS decreased cytoadherence of P. falciparum to CSA and ICAM-1 on the surface of endothelial cells under static and flow conditions. In addition, this glycan efficiently disrupted rosettes.


These findings support a potential use for mollusk HS as adjunct therapy for severe malaria.