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Parasitol Res. 2003 Feb;89(3):228-34. Epub 2002 Oct 17.

Oxidative damage and phosphatidylserine expression of red blood cells in cattle experimentally infected with Theileria sergenti.

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  • 1Hokkaido Research Station, National Institute of Animal Health, National Agricultural Research Organization, 4 Hitsujigaoka, Toyohira, Sapporo, Hokkaido 062-0045, Japan.


In order to elucidate the mechanism of anemia in Japanese bovine theileriosis, we investigated the oxidative alteration of red blood cells (RBCs) in cattle infected with Theileria sergenti. As an index of RBC oxidation, the levels of 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin-diacetate (DCFH) oxidation and malondialdehyde-thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (MDA-TBARS), and phosphatidylserine (PS) expression accompanying anemia were examined in experimentally infected cattle. Before the development of anemia, the concentrations of DCFH oxidation and MDA-TBARS were low, and PS expression on the surfaces of RBCs was hardly seen. However, during the onset of anemia, these levels began to increase remarkably in proportion to the decrease of packed cell volume and the increase of parasitemia in all infected cattle. During the serious stage of anemia, these oxidative indices reached their maximum values. Our findings indicate that oxidative damage and loss of membrane asymmetry in RBCs are related to the development of anemia in T. sergenti infection. This oxidative damage to the RBCs might play an important role in the pathogenesis of anemia in Japanese bovine theileriosis.

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