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Exp Parasitol. 2010 Jul;125(3):271-8. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2010.02.002. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

Inflammatory changes in the central nervous system are associated with behavioral impairment in Plasmodium berghei (strain ANKA)-infected mice.

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Department of Cellular Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brazil.


Experimental cerebral malaria is a neuroinflammatory condition that results from the host immune response to the parasite. Using intravital microscopy, we investigated leukocyte recruitment in the brain microcirculation and the temporal relationship of this process to the behavioral changes observed in Plasmodium berghei (strain ANKA)-infected C57Bl/6 mice. We found that leukocyte recruitment was increased from day 5 post-infection (p.i.) onwards. Histopathological changes and increased levels of inflammatory cytokines in the brain were also observed. Behavioral performance evaluated by the SHIRPA protocol showed functional impairment from day 6 p.i. onwards. Thus, early leukocyte migration into the brain and associated inflammatory changes may be involved in neurological impairment in parasite-infected C57Bl/6 mice.

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