Author(s): Tedesco RC, Smith RL, CorteReal S, Calabrese KS
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Abstract Our aim was to study the migration of retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) into the retinal layer during infection of C57BL/6 mice with Toxoplasma gondii. Eyes from infected and non-infected animals were analyzed on the 60th day of infection by light and transmission electron microscopy. Non-infected eyes showed a normal morphology. In contrast, we observed free parasites in the retinal vasculature, the presence of mononuclear inflammatory infiltrate (MNII) and parasites in the vasculature of choroids in infected eyes. No inflammatory infiltrate was observed; RPE cells were identified near the MNII in nuclear and plexiforme layers. RPE cells were also found on the ganglion cell layer and in the outer segments of the photoreceptor. The morphology showed that RPE cells caused a discontinuity in the nuclear and plexiforme layers. Clusters of parasites were found surrounded by RPE cells and MNII in the inner plexiforme layers. Ultrastructural analysis showed that RPE cells migrated through the epithelium into the inner retinal layers. We did not observe Toxoplasma cysts in many eyes in which pathological changes were detected. Only 8.3\% of the animals had Toxoplasma cysts in the inner nuclear layer in the absence of inflammatory cells. The migration of RPE cells can be triggered by a disruption of the RPE monolayer or injury to the neural retina, as in the case of toxoplasmosis.
This article was published in Parasitol Res
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism