Pathology of sarcocystis neurona in interferon-gamma gene knockout mice

Vet Pathol. 2002 Jan;39(1):137-40. doi: 10.1354/vp.39-1-137.


Pathologic changes were studied in 27 interferon-gamma gene knockout mice 34-54 days after being fed graded doses of Sarcocystis neurona sporocysts derived from a naturally infected opossum. The target tissue for S. neurona infection was the central nervous system. Characteristic histopathologic changes present in all mice consisted of an inflammatory infiltrate consisting of mostly neutrophils and macrophages, fewer eosinophils, and rare multinucleated giant cells. Intralesional protozoa and scattered subacute perivascular cuffs were present. Where the infiltrates were extensive, neuropil rarefaction was frequent. Pathologic changes were much more frequent and severe in the caudal portion of the brain, especially in the cerebellum, than in the middle and cranial portions. Changes were present in all spinal cords examined (10 of 10). Lesions were equally distributed in white and gray matter of the brain and spinal cord and their meningeal linings.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Interferon-gamma / deficiency*
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Pia Mater / pathology
  • Sarcocystis / immunology
  • Sarcocystosis / genetics
  • Sarcocystosis / immunology
  • Sarcocystosis / pathology*


  • Interferon-gamma