Effect of nitric oxide on acanthamoeba castellanii

Bora Yim, Joo Hee Park, Hyejoong Jeong, Jinkee Hong, Martha Kim, Minwook Chang, Roy S. Chuck, Choul Yong Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE. Acanthamoeba keratitis is a well-known intractable corneal infectious disease. We investigated the anti-Acanthamoeba effect of exogenous nitric oxide (NO). METHODS. Acanthamoeba castellanii was axenically cultured and exposed to various concentrations of NO donors, such as sodium nitrite, sodium nitroprusside (SNP), and NO-releasing silica nanoparticles (coated in branched polyethylene imine, size:100 nm), for 1 to 7 days (sodium nitrite and SNP: 0, 0.1, 1, 10, 100, and 1000 μM; silica nanoparticles: 0, 6.25, 12.5, 25, 50, and 100 μg/mL). Human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) were cultured and exposed to sodium nitrite, SNP (0, 0.1, 1, 10, 100, and 1000 μM), and silica nanoparticles for 1, 2, and 3 days. RESULTS. Sodium nitrite and SNP showed a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on A. castellanii viability. A more prominent inhibitory effect was observed with SNP (less than 10% of organisms survived at 7-day culture with 1000 μM) compared with sodium nitrite. However, more cytotoxicity on HCEC was observed with SNP. NO-releasing silica nanoparticles were successfully internalized into the amoebic cytoplasm and accumulated in large vacuoles. Although blank silica nanoparticles had no inhibitory effect on A. castellanii viability, NO-releasing silica nanoparticles showed a dose-dependent amoebicidal effect. Furthermore, no cystic transformation of A. castellanii was observed under a phase contrast microscope or transmission electron microscope after exogenous NO treatment. CONCLUSIONS. Our results demonstrated the anti-Acanthamoeba effect of exogenous NO. This finding suggests that NO-releasing drug platforms, including nano-carriers, can be a promising therapeutic strategy for Acanthamoeba keratitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3239-3248
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant HI-15C1653), and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2016R1D1A1B03931724).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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