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Malar J. 2005 Dec 16;4:63.

Plasmodium yoelii 17XL infection up-regulates RANTES, CCR1, CCR3 and CCR5 expression, and induces ultrastructural changes in the cerebellum.

Author information

  • 1Parasitology Unit, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, P.O. Box LG581, Legon, Accra, Ghana. bsarfo@noguchi.mimcom.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Malaria afflicts 300-500 million people causing over 1 million deaths globally per year. The immunopathogenesis of malaria is mediated partly by co mplex cellular and immunomodulator interactions involving co-regulators such as cytokines and adhesion molecules. However, the role of chemokines and their receptors in malaria immunopathology remains unclear. RANTES (Regulated on Activation Normal T-Cell Expressed and Secreted) is a chemokine involved in the generation of inflammatory infiltrates. Recent studies indicate that the degradation of cell-cell junctions, blood-brain barrier dysfunction, recruitment of leukocytes and Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes into and occlusion of microvessels relevant to malaria pathogenesis are associated with RANTES expression. Additionally, activated lymphocytes, platelets and endothelial cells release large quantities of RANTES, thus suggesting a unique role for RANTES in the generation and maintenance of the malaria-induced inflammatory response. The hypothesis of this study is that RANTES and its corresponding receptors (CCR1, CCR3 and CCR5) modulate malaria immunopathogenesis. A murine malaria model was utilized to evaluate the role of this chemokine and its receptors in malaria.

METHODS:

The alterations in immunomodulator gene expression in brains of Plasmodium yoelii 17XL-infected mice was analysed using cDNA microarray screening, followed by a temporal comparison of mRNA and protein expression of RANTES and its corresponding receptors by qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis, respectively. Plasma RANTES levels was determined by ELISA and ultrastructural studies of brain sections from infected and uninfected mice was conducted.

RESULTS:

RANTES (p < 0.002), CCR1 (p < 0.036), CCR3 (p < 0.033), and CCR5 (p < 0.026) mRNA were significantly upregulated at peak parasitaemia and remained high thereafter in the experimental mouse model. RANTES protein in the brain of infected mice was upregulated (p < 0.034) compared with controls. RANTES plasma levels were significantly upregulated; two to three fold in infected mice compared with controls (p < 0.026). Some distal microvascular endothelium in infected cerebellum appeared degraded, but remained intact in controls.

CONCLUSION:

The upregulation of RANTES, CCR1, CCR3, and CCR5 mRNA, and RANTES protein mediate inflammation and cellular degradation in the cerebellum during P. yoelii 17XL malaria.

PMID:
16359553
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1343570
Free PMC Article

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