Interleukin-18 Antagonism Improved Histopathological Conditions of Malaria Infection in Mice

Iran J Parasitol. 2015 Jul-Sep;10(3):389-401.


Background: Interleukin 18 (IL-18) exerts pleiotropic roles in many inflammatory-related diseases including parasitic infection. Previous studies have demonstrated the promising therapeutic potential of modulating IL-18 bioactivity in various pathological conditions. However, its involvement during malaria infection has yet to be established. In this study, we demonstrated the effect of modulating IL-18 on the histopathological conditions of malaria infected mice.

Methods: Plasmodium berghei ANKA infection in male ICR mice was used as a model for malaria infection. Modulation of IL-18 release was carried out by treatment of malarial mice with recombinant mouse IL-18 (rmIL-18) and recombinant mouse IL-18 Fc chimera (rmIL-18Fc) intravenously. Histopathological study and analysis were performed on major organs including brain, liver, spleen, lungs and kidney.

Results: Treatment with rmIL-18Fc resulted in significant improvements on the histopathological conditions of the organs in malaria-infected mice.

Conclusion: IL-18 is an important mediator of malaria pathogenesis and targeting IL-18 could prove beneficial in malaria-infected host.

Keywords: Histopathology; Interleukin-18; Malaria; Plasmodium berghei.