Author(s): Hagge DA, Oby Robinson S, Scollard D, McCormick G, Williams DL, Hagge DA, Oby Robinson S, Scollard D, McCormick G, Williams DL
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Abstract Millions of patients with leprosy suffer from nerve damage resulting in disabilities as a consequence of Mycobacterium leprae infection. However, mechanisms of nerve damage have not been elucidated because of the lack of a model that maintains M. leprae viability and mimics disease conditions. A model was developed using viable M. leprae, rat Schwann cells, and Schwann cell-neuron cocultures incubated at 33 degrees C. M. leprae retained 56\% viability in Schwann cells for 3 weeks after infection at 33 degrees C, compared with 3.6\% viability at 37 degrees C. Infected Schwann cells had altered morphology and expression of genes encoding cellular adhesion molecules at 33 degrees C but were capable of interacting with and myelinating neurons. Cocultures, infected after myelination occurred, showed no morphological changes in myelin architecture after 1 month of incubation at 33 degrees C, and M. leprae retained 53\% viability. This article describes a new model for studying the effects of M. leprae on Schwann cells.
This article was published in J Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Multiple Sclerosis