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PLoS One 2009 Aug 27;4(8):e6793

Pathogenic roles of CD14, galectin-3, and OX40 during experimental cerebral malaria in mice.

Oakley MS, Majam V, Mahajan B, Gerald N, Anantharaman V, Ward JM, Faucette LJ, McCutchan TF, Zheng H, Terabe M, Berzofsky JA, Aravind L, Kumar S


An in-depth knowledge of the host molecules and biological pathways that contribute towards the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria would help guide the development of novel prognostics and therapeutics. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling of the brain tissue during experimental cerebral malaria (ECM ) caused by Plasmodium berghei ANKA parasites in mice, a well established surrogate of human cerebral malaria, has been useful in predicting the functional classes of genes involved and pathways altered during the course of disease. To further understand the contribution of individual genes to the pathogenesis of ECM, we examined the biological relevance of three molecules -- CD14, galectin-3, and OX40 that were previously shown to be overexpressed during ECM. We find that CD14 plays a predominant role in the induction of ECM and regulation of parasite density; deletion of the CD14 gene not only prevented the onset of disease in a majority of susceptible mice (only 21% of CD14-deficient compared to 80% of wildtype mice developed ECM, p<0.0004) but also had an ameliorating effect on parasitemia (a 2 fold reduction during the cerebral phase). Furthermore, deletion of the galectin-3 gene in susceptible C57BL/6 mice resulted in partial protection from ECM (47% of galectin-3-deficient versus 93% of wildtype mice developed ECM, p<0.0073). Subsequent adherence assays suggest that galectin-3 induced pathogenesis of ECM is not mediated by the recognition and binding of galectin-3 to P. berghei ANKA parasites. A previous study of ECM has demonstrated that brain infiltrating T cells are strongly activated and are CD44(+)CD62L(-) differentiated memory T cells [1]. We find that OX40, a marker of both T cell activation and memory, is selectively upregulated in the brain during ECM and its distribution among CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells accumulated in the brain vasculature is approximately equal.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #19710907 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006793
PubMed Central ID: #PMC2728507
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2011-10-04 Entry Last Modified: 2014-09-24