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Parasite Immunol. 2010 Feb;32(2):91-100. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3024.2009.01166.x.

Altered expression of cytokines and sex steroid receptors in the reproductive tract of cysticercotic male mice.

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Departamento de Inmunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F.


Infection with Taenia crassiceps cysticerci in male mice produces an increase in serum oestradiol levels, whereas serum testosterone is abolished. Concomitantly, complete atrophy of the reproductive tract of infected male mice is observed. The present study was undertaken to determine the expression pattern of cytokines involved in steroidogenesis and sex steroid receptors in the reproductive tissues of normal and infected male mice, and relating this expression pattern to whole parasite counts, serum sex steroid levels and pathology of the reproductive tract in infected male mice. The expression of IL-4, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha in testes and seminal vesicles was markedly increased in infected mice; however, IL-10 and IL-1beta expression was importantly decreased in the same organs. IL-2 expression in reproductive tissues was not affected by infection. The infection markedly induced the expression of androgen receptor, in both reproductive organs tested, while subtypes of oestrogen receptors were decreased in both tissues.

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