Up-regulation of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma expression in the spleen and lungs of mice infected with the human Babesia isolate WA1

Ruth M. Hemmer, David A. Ferrick, Patricia A Conrad

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25 Scopus citations

Abstract

We analyzed cytokine expression in mice infected with the intraerythrocytic parasites Babesia microti and WA1. In C3H/HeN mice, WA1 infections were fatal, whereas B. microti infections were resolved. We propose that the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) and interferon-gamma (IFNγ) contribute to the WA1-associated disease. WA1 infection was characterized by up-regulation of TNFα and IFNγ mRNA in the spleen. Previous studies in WA1-infected mice showed that pathologic lesions occurred primarily in the lungs, including pulmonary edema and intravascular margination of leukocytes. Analysis of cytokine expression in the lungs is important for an understanding of the disease process in WA1-infected mice. Expression of both TNFα and IFNγ mRNA was increased in the lungs of WA1-infected mice. Immunohistochemical staining confirmed the up-regulation of these proinflammatory cytokines in the lungs. Expression of TNFα and IFNγ was not up-regulated in the lungs of B. microti-infected mice. The results implicate TNFα and IFNγ in the pathogenesis of WA1-associated disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalParasitology Research
Volume86
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology

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