Background: The brain is the most commonly affected organ during Neospora caninum infection but the mechanisms utilized by this protozoan parasite for traversal of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) are not yet understood. Herein, we investigate the cellular pathogenicity of N. caninum infection on bioenergetics of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs), a fundamental component of the BBB.
Methods: We tracked the growth kinetics of N. caninum in HBMECs. Focusing on cell bioenergetics, oxygen consumption rate (OCR) was determined using Clark electrode system and mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) was evaluated using DePsipher staining by fluorescence microscopy in the presence and absence of infection.
Results: HBMECs provided a receptive environment for parasite proliferation. N. caninum tachyzoites were able to invade and replicate within HBMECs without significantly altering cell proliferation rate, as measured with the MTT assay, up to 24 hr post infection (pi). The oxygen consumption rate (OCR) was significantly inhibited (p
Elsheikha, H. M., McKinlay, C. L., Elsaied, N. A., & Smith, P. A. (2013). Effects of Neospora caninum infection on brain microvascular endothelial cells bioenergetics. Parasites and Vectors, 6(24), doi:10.1186/1756-3305-6-24