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The Neurotropic Parasite Toxoplasma gondii Induces Sustained Neuroinflammation with Microvascular Dysfunction in Infected Mice.

Estato, Vanessa; Stipursky, Joice; Gomes, Fabiana; Mergener, Tally C; Frazão-Teixeira, Edwards; Allodi, Silvana; Tibiriçá, Eduardo; Barbosa, Helene S; Adesse, Daniel.
Am J Pathol; 188(11): 2674-2687, 2018 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30121257
Toxoplasmosis is one of the leading parasitic diseases worldwide. Some data suggest that chronic acquired toxoplasmosis could be linked to behavioral alterations in humans. The parasite infects neurons, forming immunologically silent cysts. Cerebral microcirculation homeostasis is determinant to brain functions, and pathologic states can alter capillarity or blood perfusion, leading to neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits. Albino mice were infected with Toxoplasma gondii (ME49 strain) and analyzed after 10, 40, and 180 days. Infected mice presented decreased cerebral blood flow at 10 and 40 days post infection (dpi), which were restored at 180 dpi, as shown by laser speckle contrast imaging. Intravital microscopy demonstrated that infection led to significant capillary rarefaction, accompanied by neuroinflammation, with microglial activation and increased numbers of rolling and adherent leukocytes to the wall of cerebral capillaries. Acetylcholine-induced vasodilation was altered at all time points, and blood brain barrier permeability was evident in infected animals at 40 dpi. Infection reduced angiogenesis, with a decreased number of isolectin B4-stained blood vessels and a decrease in length and branching of laminin-stained capillaries. Sulfadiazine reduced parasite load and partially repaired microvascular damages. We conclude that T. gondii latent infection causes a harmful insult in the brain, promoting neuroinflammation and microcirculatory dysfunction in the brain, with decreased angiogenesis and can contribute to a neurodegenerative process.
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