Original Article

Chronic Toxoplasma gondii Infection Potentiates Parkinson’s Disease Course in Mice Model


Background: Toxoplasma gondii is a neuroinvasive protozoa pathogen that could manipulate its intermediate host's behavior. However, the possible link between T. gondii infection and the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been proposed, we tested the hypothesis that in chronic toxoplasmosis neuroinflammation, and molecular mediators potentiate behavioral-cognitive impairments in BALB/c mice with PD.

Methods: To establish chronic toxoplasmosis by Tehran strain, cysts of T. gondii were injected intraperitoneally into BALB/c mice in Kerman, Iran in 2019. To induce the PD model, mice (BALB/c) were treated with Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). The behavioral experiments such as anxiety and motor coordination were performed using the Open field and Rotarod tests. Additionally, we investigated the contribution of Toxoplasma-induced neuroinflammation, and behavioral-cognitive impairments in the PD mice model.

Results: Chronic toxoplasmosis caused PD-like symptoms and induced various behavioral changes in infected BALB/c mice. In T. gondii infected+MPTP treated group, T. gondii infection could potentiate PD in infected mice receiving MPTP and caused remarkable dysfunction in motor coordination and change in anxiety and depression-like behaviors similar or more severe than PD group.

Conclusion: Chronic T. gondii infection exacerbates pathological progression of PD in BALB/c mice brain by promoting neuroinflammation, and behavioral changes establishing.

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IssueVol 16 No 4 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijpa.v16i4.7863
Methyl-4-phenyl-1 2 3 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) Behavioral impairments; Inflammation Anxiety behaviors Parkinson Toxoplasma gondii

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How to Cite
Firouzeh N, Ziaali N, Sheibani V, Doustimotlagh AH, Afgar A, Keshavarz H, Shojaee S, Shafiei R, Esmaeilpour K, Babaei Z. Chronic Toxoplasma gondii Infection Potentiates Parkinson’s Disease Course in Mice Model. Iran J Parasitol. 2021;16(4):527-537.