Analysis of Spleen Histopathology, Splenocyte composition and Hematological Parameters in Mice Infected with Plasmodium berghei K173
Malaria is a fatal disease that presents clinically as a continuum of symptoms and severity, which are determined by complex host-parasite interactions. The spleen filters infected RBCs from circulation through immune-mediated recognition of the infected RBCs followed by phagocytosis. Using different strains of mice infected with P. berghei K173 (PbK173), the mechanisms leading to splenomegaly, histopathology, splenocyte activation and proliferation, and their relationship to control of parasitemia and host mortality were examined. Survival time of mice infected with PbK173 varied, although the infection was uniformly lethal. Mice of the C57BL/6 strain were the most resistant, while mice of the strain ICR were the most susceptible. BALB/c and KM mice were intermediate. In the course of PbK173 infection, both strains of mice experienced significant splenomegaly. Parasites were observed in the red pulp at 3 days post infection in all animals. All spleens retained late trophozoite stages as well as a fraction of earlier ring-stage parasites. The percentages of macrophages in infected C57BL/6 and KM mice were higher than uninfected mice on 8 dpi. Spleens of infected ICR and KM mice exhibited structural disorganization and remodeling. Furthermore, parasitemia was significantly higher in KM versus C57BL/6 mice at 8 dpi. The percentages of macrophages in ICR infected mice were lower than uninfected mice, and the parasitemia was higher than other strains. The results presented here demonstrate the rate of splenic mechanical filtration and the splenic macrophages likely contribute to an individual's total parasite burden. This in turn can influence the pathogenesis of malaria.
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