PLoS One 2019 17;14(4):e0215070. Epub 2019 Apr 17.
Malaria Research Unit, UMR 5246 CNRS, Claude-Bernard Lyon-1 University, Villeurbanne, France.
To study the anatomo-biochemical substrates of brain inflammatory processes, Wistar male rats were infected with Trypanosoma brucei brucei. With this reproducible animal model of human African trypanosomiasis, brain cells (astrocytes, microglial cells, neurons) expressing the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) enzyme were revealed. Immunohistochemistry was achieved for each control and infected animal through eight coronal brain sections taken along the caudorostral axis of the brain (brainstem, cerebellum, diencephalon and telencephalon). Specific markers of astrocytes (anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein), microglial cells (anti-integrin alpha M) or neurons (anti-Neuronal Nuclei) were employed. The iNOS staining was present in neurons, astrocytes and microglial cells, but not in oligodendrocytes. Stained astrocytes and microglial cells resided mainly near the third cavity in the rostral part of brainstem (periaqueductal gray), diencephalon (thalamus and hypothalamus) and basal telencephalon. Stained neurons were scarce in basal telencephalon, contrasting with numerous iNOS-positive neuroglial cells. Contrarily, in dorsal telencephalon (neocortex and hippocampus), iNOS-positive neurons were plentiful, contrasting with the marked paucity of labelled neuroglial (astrocytes and microglial) cells. The dual distribution between iNOS-labelled neuroglial cells and iNOS-labelled neurons is a feature that has never been described before. Functionalities attached to such a divergent distribution are discussed.