Volume 62, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


We have characterized brain cytokine expression profiles in the Plasmodium coatneyi/rhesus (Macaque mulatta) malaria model. Eight rhesus monkeys were included in the study; four were infected with P. coatneyi, and four were used as uninfected controls. All inoculated animals became infected. Eleven days after parasite inoculation, the rhesus monkeys were killed and tissue samples from 4 regions of the brain (cortex and white matter of the cerebrum, cerebellum, and midbrain) were collected for quantitation of mRNA expression of cytokines, adhesion molecules, and inducible nitric oxide synthetase (iNOS) by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The expression levels of tumor necrosis actor-alpha (TNF-alpha), gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), interleukin-1-beta (IL-1beta), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and inducible nitric oxide synethetase (iNOS) were highest in the cerebellum of infected animals, correlating well with pathologic observations of sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes in this region of the brain. Infected animals also had higher TNF-alpha expression levels in the cortex and IL-1beta expression levels in the cortex, white matter, and midbrain. Thus, the expression of pro-inflammatory and T helper-1 (TH-1) cytokines, adhesion molecules, and iNOS appears to predominate in the cerebellum of infected rhesus monkeys.


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