PLoS One. 2023 Feb 6;18(2):e0281141. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0281141. eCollection 2023.
As the number of contact lens users increases, contact lens induced corneal infection is becoming more common. Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a type of those which is caused by Acanthamoeba species, and may cause severe ocular inflammation and visual loss. We evaluated whether Torreya nucifera (T. nucifera) extract has an anti-amoebic effect and studied its mechanism of action on Acanthamoeba lugdunensis (A. lugdunensis). Cell viability was tested using the alamarBlue™ method, and the cell death mechanism was confirmed using the Tali® Apoptosis Kit. The SYTOX® Green assay was performed to check the plasma membrane permeability. The JC-1 dye was used to measure the mitochondrial membrane potential. A CellTiter-Glo® Luminescent Assay was used to measure the adenosine-triphosphate (ATP) level. Morphological changes in the mitochondria were examined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Cystic changes and a decrease in cell viability after treatment with T. nucifera were observed. Both apoptotic and necrotic cells were found in the Tali® Apoptosis assay. There was no significant difference in plasma membrane permeability between the control and T. nucifera treated groups. The collapse of the mitochondrial membrane potential and reduced ATP level in A. lugdunensis was confirmed in the groups treated with T. nucifera. Structural damage to the mitochondria was observed on TEM in the groups treated with T. nucifera. T. nucifera showed an anti-amoebic effect on A. lugdunensis, by inducing the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Thus, it could be a future therapeutic agent for AK.