Computational analysis and physico-chemical characterization of an inclusion compound between praziquantel and methyl-beta-cyclodextrin for use as an alternative in the treatment of schistosomiasis
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Schistosomiasis is still an endemic disease in many regions, with 250 million people infected with Schistosoma and about 500,000 deaths per year. Praziquantel (PZQ) is the drug of choice for schistosomiasis treatment, however it is classified as Class II in the Biopharmaceutics Classification System, as its low solubility hinders its performance in biological systems. The use of cyclodextrins is a useful tool to increase the solubility and bioavailability of drugs. The aim of this work was to prepare an inclusion compound of PZQ and methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MeCD), perform its physico-chemical characterization, and explore its in vitro cytotoxicity. SEM showed a change of the morphological characteristics of PZQ:MeCD crystals, and IR data supported this finding, with changes after interaction with MeCD including effects on the C-H of the aromatic ring, observed at 758 cm(-1). Differential scanning calorimetry measurements revealed that complexation occurred in a 1:1 molar ratio, as evidenced by the lack of a PZQ transition temperature after inclusion into the MeCD cavity. In solution, the PZQ UV spectrum profile in the presence of MeCD was comparable to the PZQ spectrum in a hydrophobic solvent. Phase solubility diagrams showed that there was a 5.5-fold increase in PZQ solubility, and were indicative of a type A(L) isotherm, that was used to determine an association constant (K(a)) of 140.8 M(-1). No cytotoxicity of the PZQ:MeCD inclusion compound was observed in tests using 3T3 cells. The results suggest that the association of PZQ with MeCD could be a good alternative for the treatment of schistosomiasis.