Magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals an impaired brain metabolic profile in mice resistant to cerebral malaria infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA

Marie France Penet, Frank Kober, Sylviane Confort-Gouny, Yann Le Fur, Christiane Dalmasso, Nicolas Coltel, Agnès Liprandi, Jean Marc Gulian, Georges E. Grau, Patrick J. Cozzone, Angèle Viola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality with an annual death toll exceeding one million. Severe malaria is a complex multisystem disorder, including one or more of the following complications: cerebral malaria, anemia, acidosis, jaundice, respiratory distress, renal insufficiency, coagulation anomalies, and hyperparasitemia. Using a combined in vivo/in vitro metabolic-based approach, we investigated the putative pathogenic effects of Plasmodium berghei ANKA on brain, in a mouse strain developing malaria but resistant to cerebral malaria. The purpose was to determine whether the infection could cause a brain dysfunction distinct from the classic cerebral syndrome. Mice resistant to cerebral malaria were infected with P. berghei ANKA and explored during both the symptomless and the severe stage of the disease by using in vivo brain magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. The infected mice did not present the lesional and metabolic hallmarks of cerebral malaria. However, brain dysfunction caused by anemia, parasite burden, and hepatic damage was evidenced. We report an increase in cerebral blood flow, a process allowing temporary maintenance of oxygen supply to brain despite anemia. Besides, we document metabolic anomalies affecting choline-derived compounds, myo-inositol, glutamine, glycine, and alanine. The choline decrease appears related to parasite proliferation. Glutamine, myo-inositol, glycine, and alanine variations together indicate a hepatic encephalopathy, a finding in agreement with the liver damage detected in mice, which is also a feature of the human disease. These results reveal the vulnerability of brain to malaria infection at the severe stage of the disease even in the absence of cerebral malaria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14505-14514
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume282
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - May 11 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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