May 2, 2019

Guanabenz Reverses a Key Behavioral Change Caused by Latent Toxoplasmosis in Mice by Reducing Neuroinflammation

Jennifer MartynowiczWilliam J Sullivan


Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that has infected one-third of humans. The infection is permanent because the replicative form (tachyzoite) converts into a latent tissue cyst form (bradyzoite) that evades host immunity and is impervious to current drugs. The continued presence of these parasitic cysts hinders treatment and leads to chronic infection that has been linked to behavioral changes in rodents and neurological disease in humans. How these behavioral changes occur, and whether they are due to parasite manipulation or the host response to infection, remains an outstanding question. We previously showed that guanabenz possesses antiparasitic activity; here, we show that guanabenz reproducibly lowers brain cyst burden up to 80% in chronically infected male and female BALB/cJ mice when given intraperitoneally but not when administered by gavage or in food. Regardless of the administration route, guanabenz reverses Toxoplasma-induced hyperactivity in latently infected mice. In contrast, guanabenz increases cyst burden when given to chronically infected C57BL/6J mice yet still reverses Toxoplasma-induced hyperactivity. Examination of the brains from chronically infected BALB/cJ and C57BL/6J mice shows that guan...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Mice, Inbred BALB C
C57BL/6 Mouse
Hyperactive Behavior
Toxoplasma gondii
Pharmacologic Substance

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