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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2005, 2(1), 123-131; doi:10.3390/ijerph2005010123
Article

Cytokines and Adhesion Molecules Expression in the Brain in Human Cerebral Malaria

1, 1,2,* , 3, 1,2, 1 and 1
1 Department of Pathology, University of Ghana Medical School 2 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences 3 Histology & Electron Microscopy Unit, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana College of Health Sciences, Accra, Ghana
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2004 / Accepted: 6 February 2005 / Published: 30 April 2005
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Abstract

Although the role of systemic proinflammatory cytokines, IL-1β and TNF-α, and their up-regulation of adhesion molecules, ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and E-Selectin, in the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria (CM) is well established, the role of local cytokine release remain unclear. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to compare the expression of ICAM-1, VCAM-1, E-Selectin, IL-1β, TNF-α and TGF- β at light microscopic level in cerebral, cerebellar and brainstem postmortem cryostat sections from 10 CM, 5 severe malarial anemia (SMA), 1 purulent bacterial meningitis (PBM), 2 non-central nervous system infections (NCNSI) and 3 non-infections (NI) deaths in Ghanaian children. Fatal malaria and Salmonella sepsis showed significantly higher vascular expression of all 3 adhesion molecules, with highly significant co-localization with sequestration in the malaria cases. However, there was negligible difference between CM and SMA. TGF-β showed intravascular and perivascular distribution in all cases, but expression was most intense in the PBM case and CM group. TNF-α and IL-1β showed prominent brain parenchymal staining, in addition to intravascular and perivascular staining, in only the PBM case and CM group. The maximal expression of all 6 antigens studied was in the cerebellar sections of the malaria cases. Endothelial activation is a feature of fatal malaria and Salmonella sepsis, with adhesion molecule expression being highly correlated with sequestration. IL-1β and TNF-α are upregulated in only cases with neurodegenerative lesions, whilst TGF-β is present in all cases. Both cytokines and adhesion molecules were maximally upregulated in the cerebellar sections of the malaria cases.
Keywords: Cytokines; Adhesion Molecules; Human Brain; Postmortem; Cerebral Malaria Cytokines; Adhesion Molecules; Human Brain; Postmortem; Cerebral Malaria
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Armah, H.; Wiredu, E.K.; Dodoo, A.K.; Adjei, A.A.; Tettey, Y.; Gyasi, R. Cytokines and Adhesion Molecules Expression in the Brain in Human Cerebral Malaria. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2005, 2, 123-131.

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