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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 32(4):1994 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1994 Dec;32(4):259-266. English.
Published online Dec 20, 1994.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1994.32.4.259
Copyright © 1994 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
The effect of silica on the development of experimental Acanthamoeba meningoencephalitis with reference to the macrophage role in mice
H S Lee,H J Shin,M S La and K Im*
Department of Parasitology, Yonsei University College of Medicine and Institute of Tropical Medicine, Yonsei University , Seoul 120-752, Korea.
Received August 24, 1994; Accepted October 11, 1994.


The role of macrophages was observed in intranasally infected C3H/HeJ mice with trophozoites (3 × 105) of Acanthamoeba culbertsoni which was a kind of free-living amoebae inducing meningoencephalitis in human and experimental animals. The mortality was 60% in the group of intraperitoneally injected mice with silica (0.5 mg/0.5 ml). It was much higher than that of 10% in the group of amoeba infected mice without silica administration. The phagocytic index of peritoneal macrophages co-cultured with Toxoplasma gondii was estimated daily. In contrast to the control and amoeba infected group which didn't show significant fluctuation of the phagocytic indices, the silica administrated group revealed under 3% until day 3, and gradual increase up to 24.7% in day 5 which was same level of amoeba infected group without silica administration. The level of interleukin-1b (IL-1b) measured by ELISA was the highest in the amoeba infected group without silica injection and the lowest in the amoeba infected group with silica administration. In the test of the amoebicidal activity of mice peritoneal macrophages in vitro, silica administration revealed reducing effect on amoebicidal activity of macrophages. In conclusion, macrophages were proven to play a significant role in defense mechanism against the development of experimentally induced Acanthamoeba meningoencephalitis.


Fig. 1
Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites (arrowhead) are observed in the cytoplasm of mouse peritoneal macrophages (Scale: 10 µm, Giemsa stain).

Fig. 2
Mouse peritoneal macrophages and Acanthamoeba culbertsoni trophozoites were cocultured for 2 hours in RPMI 1640 medium (Scale: 10 µm, Giemsa stain). A: A, culbertsoni trophozoites M: peritoneal macrophages.


Table 1
Mortality of Aconthamoeba culbertsoni-infected mice, which were injected with silica 0.5 mg intraperitoneally on day 3 before infection

Table 2
Mortality of mice infected with Acanthamoeba culbertsoni and injected with silica 0.5 mg at the same time

Table 3
Mortality of mice infected with Acanthamoeba culbertsoni and injected with silica 0.25 mg at the same time

Table 4
Phagocytic index of mouse peritoneal macrophages on each observation day after Acanthamoeba culbertsoni infection

Table 5
Amoebicidal activity of mouse peritoneal macrophages against Acanthamoeba culbertsoni trophozoites. These two kinds of cells were cocultured for 2 days

Table 6
Interleukin-lβ level in serum of mice infected with Acanthamoeba culbertsoni and administered with slica

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