J Parasitol. 2012 Apr 2. [Epub ahead of print]
CONGENITAL INFECTION OF MICE WITH TOXOPLASMA GONDII INDUCES MINIMAL CHANGE IN BEHAVIOR AND NO CHANGE IN NEUROTRANSMITTER CONCENTRATIONS.
Goodwin DG, Hrubec TC, Klein BG, Strobl JS, Werre SR, Han Q, Zajac AM, Lindsay DS.
SourceVirginia Polytechnical Institute and State University, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University.
Abstract We examined the effect of maternal Toxoplasma gondii infection on the behavior and neurotransmitter concentrations of congenitally infected CD-1 mice at 4 and 8 wk of age when latent tissue cysts would be present in their brains. Because of sex associated behavioral changes that develop during aging, infected female mice were compared to control female mice and infected male mice were compared with control male mice. Only the short term memory behavior (distance between goal box and first hole investigated) of male mice congenitally infected with T. gondii was significantly different (P<0.05) from non-infected control male mice at both 4 and 8 wks in the Barnes Maze test. The other parameters examined in the Barnes Maze test, functional observational battery tests, virtual cliff, visual placement, and activity tests were not significantly different (P>0.05) at 4 and 8 wks. Neurotransmitters and their metabolites (dopamine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, homovanillic acid, norepinephrine, epinephrine, 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol, serotonin, and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid) concentrations in the frontal cortex and striatum were not different (P>0.05) between infected and control mice at 8 wk of age. The exact mechanism for the observed effect on short term memory in male mice is not known and further investigation may help elucidate the molecular mechanism associated with the proposed link between behavioral changes and T. gondii infection in animals. We were not able to confirm the widely held belief that changes in neurotransmitters result from chronic T. gondii infection of the brain.
PMID: 22468990 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]