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Parasitol Res. 2011 Aug;109(2):387-94. doi: 10.1007/s00436-011-2266-y. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

Differential miRNA expression in the mouse jejunum during garlic treatment of Eimeria papillata infections.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, PO Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.


Accumulating evidence indicates a critical role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the outcome of diseases. Here, we investigate the effect of garlic on the intestinal miRNA signature of male Balb/c mice during infections with Eimeria papillata. Garlic decreases the intracellular development as evidenced by a lowered fecal output of E. papillata oocysts from 3,150 ± 410 to approximately 1,750 ± 390 oocysts per gram feces on day 4 postinoculation. This anti-coccidial activity of garlic is associated with an inhibition of the E. papillata-induced increases of interferon gamma, inducible nitric oxide synthase, nitrite/nitrate, and malondialdehyde and decrease in glutathione. Moreover, garlic downregulates the E. papillata-induced increases in the expression of the miRNAs miR-1959, miR-203, and miR-21, and it upregulates the expression of the 11 miRNA species miR-142-5P, miR-15A, miR-10A, miR-29B, miR-1902, miR-125A-5P, let-7E, miR-148A, miR-130A, miR-10B, and miR-93, respectively, as revealed by miRXplore microarray technology. Real-time PCR confirms these effects of garlic in the jejunum of E. papillata-infected mice. Our data indicate that the anti-coccidial activity of garlic is associated with specific changes in the miRNA signature of the mouse jejunum, the target site of E. papillata. These changes may reflect an involvement of miRNAs in garlic-activated pathways to reduce and/or to repair E. papillata-induced tissue injuries.

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