Author(s): Arsenijevic D, Girardier L, Seydoux J, Pechere JC, Garcia I,
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Abstract Injection of 10 cysts of Toxoplasma gondii (Me49 strain) into Swiss Webster mice results in 1) an acute phase of infection lasting for 2-3 wk, characterized by weight loss, and 2) a chronic phase in which surviving mice show either partial weight recovery (Gainers) or persistent, although stable, cachexia (Nongainers). In response to a second immunological stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the chronic phase of the infection, it is shown that 1) the increase in energy expenditure was more prolonged in both groups of infected mice than in controls, 2) the intensity and duration of hypophagia were also differently affected with Nongainers > Gainers > controls, and 3) the infected mice had higher serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin (IL)-10 and a lower ratio of IL-10 to TNF-alpha than controls. In contrast, serum IL-4 increased to the same level in all three groups. Evaluation of the permeability of the blood-brain barrier by intravenous injection of Evans blue revealed a marked staining in the brain of only the infected Nongainers. Taken together, these results indicate that, in mice with chronic toxoplasmosis, a second nonspecific challenge (with LPS) exacerbates the hypophagic and hypermetabolic states, the latter being associated with hyperresponsiveness in TNF-alpha and IL-10 production. Furthermore, the greater exacerbation of the hypophagic state in mice showing persistent cachexia may be due to a preexisting higher permeability of the blood-brain barrier, which would allow a greater access of plasma-borne cytokines and/or other neuroimmunologically active substances to the central nervous system.
This article was published in Am J Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism