Development of an Alamar Blue viability assay in 384-well format for high throughput whole cell screening of Trypanosoma brucei brucei bloodstream form strain 427.
ABSTRACT There is an urgent need for new compounds for the drug development pipeline for treatment of patients with African sleeping sickness. One approach for identifying such compounds is by high throughput screening (HTS) of compound collections. For time and cost considerations, there is a need for the development of an assay that uses at least 384-well formats. To our knowledge, there are currently no viability assays for whole cell screening of trypanosomes in the 384-well plate format. We have developed and optimized an Alamar Blue viability assay in a 384-well format for Trypanosoma brucei brucei bloodstream form strain 427 (BS427). The assay had a Z' > 0.5 and tolerated a final dimethyl-sulfoxide concentration of 0.42%. Drug sensitivity was compared with those reported from previously developed 96-well methods and was found to be comparable. The sensitivity and cost benefit of the Alamar Blue assay make it an excellent candidate for HTS application.
Article: Diverse effects on mitochondrial and nuclear functions elicited by drugs and genetic knockdowns in bloodstream stage Trypanosoma brucei.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The options for treating the fatal disease human African trypanosomiasis are limited to a few drugs that are toxic or facing increasing resistance. New drugs that kill the causative agents, subspecies of Trypanosoma brucei, are therefore urgently needed. Little is known about the cellular mechanisms that lead to death of the pathogenic bloodstream stage. We therefore conducted the first side by side comparison of the cellular effects of multiple death inducers that target different systems in bloodstream form parasites, including six drugs (pentamidine, prostaglandin D(2), quercetin, etoposide, camptothecin, and a tetrahydroquinoline) and six RNAi knockdowns that target distinct cellular functions. All compounds tested were static at low concentrations and killed at high concentrations. Dead parasites were rapidly quantified by forward and side scatter during flow cytometry, as confirmed by ethidium homodimer and esterase staining, making these assays convenient for quantitating parasite death. The various treatments yielded different combinations of defects in mitochondrial potential, reactive oxygen species, cell cycle, and genome segregation. No evidence was seen for phosphatidylserine exposure, a marker of apoptosis. Reduction in ATP levels lagged behind decreases in live cell number. Even when the impact on growth was similar at 24 hours, drug-treated cells showed dramatic differences in their ability to further proliferate, demonstrating differences in the reversibility of effects induced by the diverse compounds. Parasites showed different phenotypes depending on the treatment, but none of them were clear predictors of whether apparently live cells could go on to proliferate after drugs were removed. We therefore suggest that clonal proliferation assays may be a useful step in selecting anti-trypanosomal compounds for further development. Elucidating the genetic or biochemical events initiated by the compounds with the most profound effects on subsequent proliferation may identify new means to activate death pathways.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 01/2010; 4(5):e678. · 4.69 Impact Factor