Effects of Toxoplasma gondii infection on anxiety, depression and ghrelin level in male rats

J Parasit Dis. 2016 Sep;40(3):688-93. doi: 10.1007/s12639-014-0561-0. Epub 2014 Sep 11.


The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection on anxiety, depression and ghrelin level in male rats. Twenty four male rats were assessed in two equal groups. T. gondii tachyzoite (ip) were injected in infected group and control group received (2 ml) physiological serum (ip). Elevated plus Maze and swimming tests were used to assess anxiety and depression in rats respectively. The ghrelin and T. gondii IgG serum levels were measured by enzyme immunoassay kits. The Student's t test and Pearson correlation coefficient were used. The ghrelin serum level was significantly lower in the infected rats than control (P = 0.03). There were no significant differences in the depression and anxiety behavior between two groups. However, here were no significant correlations between ghrelin level and anxiety or depression in rats. It seems that latent T. gondii infection decreases the ghrelin serum level but does not change anxiety and depression like behaviors.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Ghrelin; Toxoplasma.