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J Microsc Ultrastruct. 2018 Jul-Sep;6(3):139-144. doi: 10.4103/JMAU.JMAU_22_18.

More Than an Association: Latent Toxoplasmosis Might Provoke a Local Oxidative Stress That Triggers the Development of Bipolar Disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
2
Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt.
3
Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt.
4
Fakeeh College for Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
5
Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

Introduction:

Toxoplasma gondii, a common parasitic infection, has a special affinity to the brain. It has a lifelong existence without an apparent clinical disease. While the etiology of bipolar disorder (BD) remains unclear, epidemiological studies suggest a role for infections. Central nervous system is particularly susceptible to oxidative stress (OS) because of its high metabolic rate and its low levels of antioxidant defenses. OS is a contributor to the initiation and progression of many neurological illnesses. OS injury is a constantly and compelling finding associated with BD and toxoplasmosis.

Aim:

This cross-sectional study has investigated a possible role of toxoplasma-induced OS in the development of BD.

Methods:

Healthy controls and BD patients were examined for anti-Toxoplasma immunoglobulin-G (IgG) and two protein (3-nitrotyrosine) and DNA (8-hydroxy-2' deoxyguanosine [8-OHdG]) OS markers.

Results:

Toxoplasma positivity was higher (40%) among BD patients compared to controls (12%). Significantly higher levels of anti-Toxoplasma IgG were detected in BD patients compared to controls. Nitrotyrosine (796.7 ± 106.28) and especially 8-OHdG (20.31 ± 8.38) were significantly higher among toxo-positive BD compared to toxo-negative BD (675.97 ± 144.19 and 7.44 ± 2.86) and healthy controls (464.02 ± 134.6 and 4.17 ± 1.43).

Conclusion:

These findings might indicate a role for Toxoplasma infection in the development of BD, possibly through creating a highly oxidative brain environment.

KEYWORDS:

3-nitrotyrosine; 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine; Toxoplasma; bipolar disorder; oxidative stress

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