This review is aimed at emphasizing the need for basic neuroscience research on two tropical diseases, malaria and sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis), that still represent major health problems and in which severe involvement of the nervous system is frequently the direct cause of death, The life cycles of the two parasites, the protozoan Plasmodium and Trypanosoma brucei, which are the causative agents of malaria and sleeping sickness, respectively, are briefly reviewed, The historical contribution to the pathogenesis and therapy of malaria by a renowned pioneer in neuroscience, Camillo Golgi, is pointed out, The different strategies for survival in the host by the intracellular Plasmodium and the extracellular African trypanosomes are summarized; such strategies include sites favorable for hiding or replication of the parasites in the host, antigenic variation, and interactions with the cytokine network of the host. In particular, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma may play a role in these infections, The parasites may paradoxically interact with cytokines to their benefit, However, cytokine receptors are expressed on neuronal subsets sensitive to cytokine action, and stimulation of these subsets may cause neuronal dysfunctions during the infections, Finally, the clinical symptoms of cerebral malaria and African trypanosomiasis and research aiming at deciphering their pathogenetic mechanisms that could affect the nervous system at a molecular level are described, The need for neuroscientists in this endeavor is emphasized.
|Titolo:||Neurobiology of cerebral malaria and African sleeping sickness|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1997|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|