Development of brain injury in mice by Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection is associated with the induction of transcription factor NF-kappaB, nuclear protooncogenes, and protein tyrosine phosphorylation.Exp Parasitol. 2000 Jul; 95(3):202-8.EP
Eosinophilic meningitis or meningoencephalitis caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis is endemic to the Pacific area of Asia, especially Taiwan, Thailand, and Japan. Although eosinophilia is an important clinical manifestation of A. cantonensis infection, the role of eosinophils in the progress of the infection remains to be elucidated. In this experiment, we showed that A. cantonensis-caused eosinoplia and inflammation might lead to the induction of NF-kappaB and protooncogene expression via activation of the tyrosine phosphorylation signal pathway. After mice were infected daily with 30 third-stage larvae of A. cantonensis by oral adminstration for 6 weeks, no significant differences PKC-alpha, MEK-1, ERK-2, JNK, and p38 protein expression were found between the control and infected mice. However, the protein tyrosine phosphorylation levels, NF-kappaB, and iNOS protein products were significantly increased by 3.5-, 3.3-, and 6.3-fold, respectively, after 3 weeks of A. cantonensis infection. The same pattern was found for c-Myc, c-Jun, and c-Fos proteins, which were elevated by 3.2-, 2.3-, and 3.4-fold, respectively, compared to control animals after 3 weeks. The expression potency of these proteins started increasing in week 1, reaching maximal induction in week 3, and then declining in week 5 after A. cantonensis infection. Another consistent result was noted in the pathological observations, including eosinophilia, leukocyte infiltration, granulomatous reactions, and time responses in brain tissues of infected mice. These data suggest that the development of brain injury by eosinophlia of A. cantonensis infection is associated with NF-kappaB and/or nuclear protooncogenes expression, which is activated by the tyrosine phosphorylation pathway.