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Parasite Immunol. 2014 Oct;36(10):540-9. doi: 10.1111/pim.12138.

Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 as inflammation markers of Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella pseudospiralis infections in mice.

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Department of Translational Research, N.T.M.S., Medical School, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy.


Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella pseudospiralis exhibit differences in the host-parasite relationship such as the inflammatory response in parasitized muscles. Several studies indicate that matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) represent a marker of inflammation since they regulate inflammation and immunity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the serum levels of gelatinases (MMP-9 and MMP-2) in mice experimentally infected with T. spiralis or T. pseudospiralis, to elucidate the involvement of these molecules during the inflammatory response to these parasites. Gelatin zymography on SDS polyacrilamide gels was used to assess the serum levels and in situ zymography on muscle histological sections to show the gelatinase-positive cells. In T. spiralis infected mice, the total MMP-9 serum level increased 6 days post-infection whereas, the total MMP-2 serum level increased onward. A similar trend was observed in T. pseudospiralis infected mice but the MMP-9 level was lower than that detected in T. spiralis infected mice. Significant differences were also observed in MMP-2 levels between the two experimental groups. The number of gelatinase positive cells was higher in T. spiralis than in T. pseudospiralis infected muscles. We conclude that MMP-9 and MMP-2 are markers of the inflammatory response for both T. spiralis and T. pseudospiralis infections.


Trichinella infection; gelatinases; inflammation markers; mouse model; trichinellosis

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