The Side Effects of Popular Antifungal Drugs
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Antifungal drugs such as Amphotericin B, Fluconazole, and Caspofungin have specific mechanisms of action which selectively eliminate fungal pathogens with lesser toxicity to the host. While antifungal drugs indeed target fungal cells, different antifungal drugs have varying levels of undesirable human toxicity based on their mechanisms of action. For example, Amphotericin B is known for its nephrotoxicity, while the steroid synthesis inhibitor, Fluconazole, has shown liver toxicity. With the use of a series of organelle-specific fluorescent probes, the effects of varying antifungal drugs on human cell lines can be visualized in real time with confocal microscopy. We have successfully monitored the mitochondrial damaging effects of Amphotericin B on human fibroblast cell lines using our own and other commercial fluorescent organelle probes. We will expand these studies to more relevant kidney and other human cell lines with Amphotericin B, Fluconazole, and Caspofungin as well as other commercial antifungal drugs.