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Changes in the proteomic profiles of mouse brain after infection with cyst-forming Toxoplasma gondii

Dong-Hui Zhou1*, Fu-Rong Zhao1, Si-Yang Huang1, Min-Jun Xu1, Hui-Qun Song1, Chunlei Su2 and Xing-Quan Zhu13*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology, Key Laboratory of Veterinary Parasitology of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu Province 730046, PR China

2 Department of Microbiology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA

3 College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University, Daqing, Heilongjiang Province 163319, PR China

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Parasites & Vectors 2013, 6:96  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-6-96

Published: 12 April 2013

Abstract

Background

Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic pathogenic protozoan parasite, which infects approximately one third of the human population worldwide, causing opportunistic zoonotic toxoplasmosis. The predilection of T. gondii for the central nervous system (CNS) causes behavioral disorders and fatal necrotizing encephalitis and thus constitutes a major threat especially to AIDS patients.

Methods

In the present study, we explored the proteomic profiles of brain tissues of the specific pathogen-free (SPF) Kunming mice at 7 d, 14 d and 21 d after infection with cysts of the Toxoplasma gondii Prugniaud (PRU) strain (Genotype II), by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) combined with MALDI-TOF/TOF tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS).

Results

A total of 60 differentially expressed protein spots were selected. Fifty-six spots were successfully identified, which corresponded to 45 proteins of the mouse. Functional analysis using a Gene Ontology database showed that these proteins were mainly involved in metabolism, cell structure, signal transduction and immune responses, and will be beneficial for the understanding of molecular mechanisms of T. gondii pathogenesis.

Conclusions

This study identified some mouse brain proteins involved in the response with cyst-forming T. gondii PRU strain. These results provided an insight into the responsive relationship between T. gondii and the host brain tissues, which will shed light on our understanding of the mechanisms of pathogenesis in toxoplasmic encephalitis, and facilitate the discovery of new methods of diagnosis, prevention, control and treatment of toxoplasmic encephalopathy.

Keywords:
Toxoplasma gondii; Cyst; Brain; Proteome; Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE); Mass spectrometry (MS)