Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease due to Schistosoma mansoni. Schistosome infection is known to induce granulomas not only in the spleen, bladder, liver and intestine but also in the brain and spinal cord resulting in severe neuropathological and psychiatric disorders though the interaction between Schistosoma mansoni infection and the nervous system has received on the whole little attention. In the present review it has been discussed recent findings from experimental Schistosoma mansoni infection in mouse nervous system. We show that brain granulomas are associated with a significant alteration in the constitutive levels of nerve growth factor (NGF), a trophic factor playing an essential role in nerve growth and differentiation and in preventing neuronal damages. Animals infected with schistosomes suffered also of increased pain sensitivity which was inhibited by TNF-α antibody injections and not by anti-NGE These findings suggest that the neuropathological dysfunctions in neuroschistosomiasis may be linked to changes in the basal levels and/or activity of neurotrophic factors caused by local formation of granulomas.
- Schistosome infection
ASJC Scopus subject areas