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Exp Parasitol. 2013 Nov;135(3):497-502. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2013.08.012. Epub 2013 Aug 30.

A potential association between Toxoplasma gondii infection and schizophrenia in mouse models.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Jiangxi Province for the Systems Biology Clinical Application, Jiujiang 332000, PR China; Department of Parasitology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Jiujiang University, Jiujiang 332000, PR China. Electronic address: comwangtaocom@163.com.


Schizophrenia is a serious neuropsychiatric disease of uncertain etiology, which causes human mental disorder and affects about 1% of the population. In recently years, some studies showed that some cases of schizophrenia may be associated with Toxoplasma gondii infection. In order to investigate a potential association between Toxoplasma infection and schizophrenia, we investigated the relative clinical symptom of schizophrenia such as learning and memory capability, depression and stereotypy to find some useful information by behavioral test in mouse models. Our results demonstrated that mice from Toxoplasma infection and MK-801 administration (as the model of schizophrenia) were impaired in learning and memory capability, and they had more serious depression and stereotypy compared with the control mice, especially the mice from congenital Toxoplasma infection. In addition, our results clearly showed that the number of cysts in brain tissue of congenital Toxoplasma infection mice was significantly low than in acquired Toxoplasma infected mice. Collectively, these results suggested a potential association between Toxoplasma infection and schizophrenia.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Behavior; Mouse models; Schizophrenia; Toxoplasma gondii infection

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