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Microbiol Immunol. 2012 Mar;56(3):191-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.2011.00418.x.

Acetylcholinesterase activity in the rat brain after pneumococcal meningitis.

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Laboratory of Experimental Microbiology and National Institute of Science and Translacional Technology in Medicine, 88806-000 Criciúma, SC, Brazil.


Pneumococcal meningitis is a life-threatening disease characterized by acute purulent infection of the meninges causing neuronal injury, cortical necrosis and hippocampal apoptosis. Cholinergic neurons and their projections are extensively distributed throughout the central nervous system. The aim of this study was to assess acetylcholinesterase activity in the rat brain after pneumococcal meningitis. In the hippocampus, frontal cortex and cerebrospinal fluid, acetylcholinesterase activity was found to be increased at 6, 12, 24, 48 and 96 hr without antibiotic treatment, and at 48 and 96 hr with antibiotic treatment. Our data suggest that acetylcholinesterase activity could be related to neuronal damage induced by pneumococcal meningitis.

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