Toxoplasma gondii oral infection induces intestinal inflammation and retinochoroiditis in mice genetically selected for immune oral tolerance resistance.
PLoS One. 2014 ;9(12):e113374. Epub 2014 Dec 1. PMID: 25437299
Raul Ramos Furtado Dias
Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide disease with most of the infections originating through the oral route and generates various pathological manifestations, ranging from meningoencephalitis to retinochoroiditis and inflammatory bowel disease. Animal models for these pathologies are scarce and have limitations. We evaluated the outcome of Toxoplasma gondii oral infection with 50 or 100 cysts of the ME-49 strain in two lines of mice with extreme phenotypes of susceptibility (TS) or resistance (TR) to immune oral tolerance. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the behaviour of TS and TR mice, orally infected by T. gondii, and determine its value as a model for inflammatory diseases study. Mortality during the acute stage of the infection for TR was 50% for both dosages, while 10 and 40% of the TS died after infection with these respective dosages. In the chronic stage, the remaining TS succumbed while TR survived for 90 days. The TS displayed higher parasite load with lower intestinal inflammation and cellular proliferation, notwithstanding myocarditis, pneumonitis and meningoencephalitis. TR presented massive necrosis of villi and crypt, comparable to inflammatory bowel disease, with infiltration of lymphoid cells in the lamina propria of the intestines. Also, TR mice infected with 100 cysts presented intense cellular infiltrate within the photoreceptor layer of the eyes, changes in disposition and morphology of the retina cell layers and retinochoroiditis. During the infection, high levels of IL-6 were detected in the serum of TS mice and TR mice presented high amounts of IFN-γ and TNF-α. Both mice lineages developed different disease outcomes, but it is emphasized that TR and TS mice presented acute and chronic stages of the infection, demonstrating that the two lineages offer an attractive model for studying toxoplasmosis.