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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


ALVES, Marcelo Sardeto et al. Toxoplasma gondii Induces Death of Gastric Myenteric Neurons in Rats. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.1, pp.293-298. ISSN 0717-9502.

The aim of the study was quantifying and morphologically analyzing the myenteric neurons of the small and large gastric curvatures of the glandular stomach of rats infected the tachyzoites of the Toxoplasma gondii for 30 days. Ten male rats were assigned into two groups: Control Group (CG) and Experimental Group (EG). The animals from the CG received saline solution orally whereas the EG animals received 104 tachyzoites of the T. gondii genotype III strain (BTU II). After 30 days, euthanasia was conducted for the removal of the stomach, which was dissected under the stereomicroscope for removal of the tunica mucosa and the tela submucosa. Whole mounts were stained with Giemsa. Quantification of the myenteric neurons was conducted by using a 40X-objective microscope in 40 microscopic fields for the region of the small gastric curvature and 40 fields for the large gastric curvature of the glandular stomach of the animals from both groups. The cell body of 50 myenteric neurons from each region was measured for each animal. Chronic experimental infection caused by the genotype III strain of Toxoplasma gondii was verified to reduce myenteric neuron density only in the small gastric curvature region of the glandular stomach, not resulting in significant changes in the size of the neurons.

Keywords : Stomach; Toxoplasmosis; Enteric nervous system; Myenteric plexus.

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