Effects of experimental cerebral malaria in memory, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and acetylcholinesterase acitivity in the hippocampus of survivor mice
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Malaria is the most important human parasitic disease and cerebral malaria (CM), its main neurological complication, is characterized by neurological and cognitive damage in both human and animal survivors. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) appears to be involved with activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. There is great interest regarding its role in learning and memory as well as acetylcholinesterase activity (AChE) that is implicated in many cognitive functions and probably plays important roles in neurodegenerative disorders. In the present work, we evaluated BDNF protein levels and AChE activity in the hippocampus and habituation in an animal model of CM using C57BL/6 mice after fifteen days of the induction. The results demonstrated that there was a decrease in BDNF levels in the hippocampus of C57BL/6 mice infected with PbA when compared with C57BL/6 non-infected mice and C57BL/6 non-infected mice that received treatment with chloroquine. However, no difference was observed in AChE activity in the hippocampus. When habituation was evaluated there was memory impairment in the C57BL/6 mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA). In conclusion, we believe that the decreased BDNF levels in the hippocampus may be related with memory impairment without alterations on AChE activity.
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