Background: Neurocysticercosis (NCC), infection of the central nervous system by Taenia solium cysticerci, is a pleomorphic disease. Inflammation around cysticerci is the major cause of disease but is variably present. One factor modulating the inflammatory responses may be the location and characteristics of the brain tissue adjacent to cysticerci. We analyzed and compared the inflammatory responses to cysticerci located in the parenchyma to those in the meninges or cysticerci partially in contact with both the parenchyma and the meninges (corticomeningeal). Methodology/Principal Findings: Histological specimens of brain cysticerci (n = 196) from 11 pigs naturally infected with Taenia solium cysticerci were used. Four pigs were sacrificed after 2 days and four after 5 days of a single dose of praziquantel; 3 pigs did not receive treatment. All pigs were intravenously injected with Evans Blue to assess disruption of the blood-brain barrier. The degree of inflammation was estimated by use of a histological score (ISC) based on the extent of the inflammation in the pericystic areas as assessed in an image composed of several photomicrographs taken at 40X amplification. Parenchymal cysticerci provoked a significantly greater level of pericystic inflammation (higher ISC) after antiparasitic treatment compared to meningeal and corticomeningeal cysticerci. ISC of meningeal cysticerci was not significantly affected by treatment. In corticomeningeal cysticerci, the increase in ISC score was correlated to the extent of the cysticercus adjacent to the brain parenchyma. Disruption of the blood-brain barrier was associated with treatment only in parenchymal tissue. Significance: Inflammatory response to cysticerci located in the meninges was significantly decreased compared to parenchymal cysticerci. The suboptimal inflammatory response to cysticidal drugs may be the reason subarachnoid NCC is generally refractory to treatment compared to parenchymal NCC.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was partially supported by grants D43 TW001140 and 2D43 TW007393 from the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of health, USA, and by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
© 2015 Song et al.