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Molecules 2009, 14(7), 2317-2336; doi:10.3390/molecules14072317
Review

Pentavalent Antimonials: New Perspectives for Old Drugs

1,* , 2
 and
1
1 Departamento de Fisiologia e Biofísica, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos 6627, Pampulha, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil 2 Departamento de Química, Instituto de Ciências Exatas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos 6627, Pampulha, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 April 2009 / Revised: 15 June 2009 / Accepted: 22 June 2009 / Published: 30 June 2009
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Abstract

Pentavalent antimonials, including meglumine antimoniate and sodium stibogluconate, have been used for more than half a century in the therapy of the parasitic disease leishmaniasis. Even though antimonials are still the first-line drugs, they exhibit several limitations, including severe side effects, the need for daily parenteral administration and drug resistance. The molecular structure of antimonials, their metabolism and mechanism of action are still being investigated. Some recent studies suggest that pentavalent antimony acts as a prodrug that is converted to active and more toxic trivalent antimony. Other works support the direct involvement of pentavalent antimony. Recent data suggest that the biomolecules, thiols and ribonucleosides, may mediate the actions of these drugs. This review will summarize the progress to date on the chemistry and biochemistry of pentavalent antimony. It will also present the most recent works being done to improve antimonial chemotherapy. These works include the development of simple synthetic methods for pentavalent antimonials, liposome-based formulations for targeting the Leishmania parasites responsible for visceral leishmaniasis and cyclodextrin-based formulations to promote the oral delivery of antimony.
Keywords: pentavalent antimonials; meglumine antimoniate; cyclodextrin; liposomes; leishmaniasis pentavalent antimonials; meglumine antimoniate; cyclodextrin; liposomes; leishmaniasis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Frézard, F.; Demicheli, C.; Ribeiro, R.R. Pentavalent Antimonials: New Perspectives for Old Drugs. Molecules 2009, 14, 2317-2336.

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