In vivo toxicity of a new antifungal agent 2,4-dithiophenoxy-1-iodo-4-bromo benzene: a follow up on our in vitro study

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ARHIV ZA HIGIJENU RADA I TOKSIKOLOGIJU-ARCHIVES OF INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE AND TOXICOLOGY, vol.66, no.1, pp.63-72, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Triazole fungicide fluconazole has become the most widely used antifungal agent in the world, mainly because of its ability to penetrate well into body fluids and tissues. However, it has been reported to interact with many drugs and because of its common use, the risk of resistance to fluconazole increases. This calls for new anti-fungal drugs that would be able to replace it. In 2006, a new thialo benzene derivative -2,4-dithiophenoxy-1-iodo-4-bromo benzene (C18H12S2IBr) - was synthesised with a carbon backbone similar to fluconazole, and, according to the early in vitro tests, much greater efficiency. Followed an in vitro test of its cytotoxicity, in which the new drug showed promising results as an alternative to fluconazole. The aim of this study was take the next step and test C18H12S2IBr toxicity in vivo. We opted for a four-week test on Wistar rats, in which the new antifungal agent was orally applied at doses two and a half and five times lower than those of fluconazole. There were no changes in daily food and water consumption, but weight gain in female rats and relative organ weights changed in the treated groups, pointing to sex-related differences in drug metabolism and effects. Fluconazole significantly increased leukocytes and lowered neutrophils whereas C18H12S2IBr did not, while other haematological changes in respect to the vehicle control were similar between the treated groups. Differences in cytochrome c in the liver and kidney suggested greater apoptotic effect of the new drug, but interpretation remains inconclusive, considering that other key indicators (biochemistry and histopathology) do not support greater toxicity. Considering that C18H12S2IBr is more active at lower concentrations and has comparable toxic effects to fluconazole in rats, this new compound shows some promise in the treatment of fungal infections. Future, more detailed animal studies are needed, that will include drug interactions and molecular toxicity pathways. If the results are promising, clinical studies should follow.