a1 Department of Biology, South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, Texas 78249-1644
a2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX, 78229
Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the most common parasitic disease of the central nervous system (CNS) caused by the larval form of the tapeworm Taenia solium. NCC has a long asymptomatic period with little or no inflammation, and the sequential progression to symptomatic NCC depends upon the intense inflammation associated with degeneration of larvae. The mechanisms involved in these progressive events are difficult to study in human patients. Thus it was necessary to develop an experimental model that replicated NCC. In this review, we describe studies of a murine model of NCC in terms of the release/secretion of parasite antigens, immune responses elicited within the CNS environment and subsequent pathogenesis. In particular, the kinetics of leukocyte subsets infiltrating into the brain are discussed in the context of disruption of the CNS barriers at distinct anatomical sites and the mechanisms contributing to these processes. In addition, production of various inflammatory mediators and the mechanisms involved in their induction by the Toll-like receptor signaling pathway are described. Overall, the knowledge gained from the mouse model of NCC has provided new insights for understanding the kinetics of events contributing to different stages of NCC and should aid in the formulation of more effective therapeutic approaches.
(Received August 18 2009)
(Revised November 23 2009)
(Accepted November 25 2009)
(Online publication January 29 2010)
c1 Send correspondence and reprint requests to: Judy M. Teale, Ph.D., Department of Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249-1644. Tel: (210) 458-7024. Fax: (210) 458-7025. E-mail: [email protected]
Supported by awards NS 35974, AI 59703 and P01 AI 057986 from the National Institutes of Health.