Send to

Choose Destination
J Parasitol. 1991 Jun;77(3):461-6.

Eosinophil peroxidase levels in hearts and lungs of mice infected with Toxocara canis.

Author information

Department of Structural and Cellular Biology, College of Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile 36688.

Erratum in

  • J Parasitol 1991 Oct;77(5):748.


Toxocara canis infection of abnormal hosts results in a condition in which infective larvae migrate through the soft tissues of the body, exclusive of the skin. This condition is known as visceral larva migrans (VLM) and causes a syndrome characterized by hepatosplenomegaly, hyperglobulinemia, hypereosinophilia, and transient pulmonary infiltrates. Because of the known association between hypereosinophilia and eosinophilic heart disease, we have been studying the hearts of mice infected with T. canis for evidence of myocardial damage and have previously described a severe eosinophilic myocarditis that leads to a marked myocardial fibrosis. We have measured eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) levels (a marker enzyme for specific granules of eosinophils) in homogenized lungs, homogenized hearts, and eosinophils recovered from the lungs of mice infected with T. canis over a 6-wk period. A marked accumulation of EPO was observed in the lungs of infected mice from day 14 postinfection (PI) to at least 6 wk of infection. Most of the EPO was associated with eosinophils that comprise the bulk of the pulmonary infiltrates associated with the VLM syndrome. However, following bronchoalveolar lavage, cytochemical localization of EPO activity in lungs from infected mice suggested that eosinophil degranulation had resulted in this marker enzyme being deposited within the pulmonary parenchyma. Peak levels of EPO were found in the myocardium by day 14 PI and declined over the 6-wk period. These levels equaled about 1/3 of the levels seen in the lungs of the same mice. These studies suggest that in mice infected with T. canis, the presence of increased numbers of eosinophils may lead to marked peroxidatic cardiopulmonary damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center