PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33312. Epub 2012 Mar 21.
Toxoplasma gondii Infection in the Brain Inhibits Neuronal Degeneration and Learning and Memory Impairments in a Murine Model of Alzheimer's Disease.
Jung BK, Pyo KH, Shin KY, Hwang YS, Lim H, Lee SJ, Moon JH, Lee SH, Suh YH, Chai JY, Shin EH.
SourceDepartment of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, Institute of Endemic Diseases, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Immunosuppression is a characteristic feature of Toxoplasma gondii-infected murine hosts. The present study aimed to determine the effect of the immunosuppression induced by T. gondii infection on the pathogenesis and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in Tg2576 AD mice. Mice were infected with a cyst-forming strain (ME49) of T. gondii, and levels of inflammatory mediators (IFN-γ and nitric oxide), anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-β), neuronal damage, and β-amyloid plaque deposition were examined in brain tissues and/or in BV-2 microglial cells. In addition, behavioral tests, including the water maze and Y-maze tests, were performed on T. gondii-infected and uninfected Tg2576 mice. Results revealed that whereas the level of IFN-γ was unchanged, the levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines were significantly higher in T. gondii-infected mice than in uninfected mice, and in BV-2 cells treated with T. gondii lysate antigen. Furthermore, nitrite production from primary cultured brain microglial cells and BV-2 cells was reduced by the addition of T. gondii lysate antigen (TLA), and β-amyloid plaque deposition in the cortex and hippocampus of Tg2576 mouse brains was remarkably lower in T. gondii-infected AD mice than in uninfected controls. In addition, water maze and Y-maze test results revealed retarded cognitive capacities in uninfected mice as compared with infected mice. These findings demonstrate the favorable effects of the immunosuppression induced by T. gondii infection on the pathogenesis and progression of AD in Tg2576 mice.
PMID: 22470449 [PubMed - in process]