Altered Nucleotide Receptor Expression in a Murine Model of Cerebral Malaria

Marín-García, Patricia; Sánchez-Nogueiro, Jesús; Diez, Amalia; León-Otegui, Míriam; Linares, María; García-Palencia, Pilar; Bautista, José M.; Miras-Portugal, María Teresa
October 2009
Journal of Infectious Diseases;10/15/2009, Vol. 200 Issue 8, p1279
Academic Journal
In cerebral malaria, the most severe complication of malaria, both neurotransmission mechanisms and energy metabolism are affected. To understand how metabolic changes modify neurotransmission, we examined P2 receptor expression in a murine model of cerebral malaria. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction experiments revealed that parasite deposition was greatest in the cerebellum, compared with other areas of the brain, suggesting a correlation between brain parasitemia and loss of control of movement. Infected mice showed modified patterns of expression of P2 receptor subtype messenger RNA (mRNA), depending on both the specific purinergic receptor and the cerebral region analyzed. Immunohistochemical studies indicated altered levels of protein expression by these receptors in infected brains and, in some cases, a pattern of expression different from that noted in control mice. These differences in both the amount of mRNA and the protein distribution of P2 receptors observed in the different brain sites in infected mice suggest an important role for P2 receptors in either provoking cerebral damage or conferring neuroprotection.


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