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Volume 42, Number 1, February 2009

Apoptotic changes induced in mice splenic tissue due to malaria infection

Mohamed Abd Elmonem Dkhil
1Department of Zoology and Entomology, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt; and 2Zoology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Received: March 17, 2008    Revised: May 20, 2008    Accepted: June 16, 2008   


Corresponding author:

Dr. Mohamed Abd Elmonem Dkhil, Zoology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. E-mail: Mohamed Abd Elmonem Dkhil This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Background and purpose: 

Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes and causing multiple alterations in the infected host. The objective of this study was to investigate the apoptotic changes in murine splenic tissue due to infection with Plasmodium chabaudi.




Flow cytometric analysis was used to quantify normal and apoptotic spleen cells in P. chabaudi–infected female C57BL/6 mice. Splenic tissue was also examined for histological study.




Results: Challenge of mice with parasitized erythrocytes induced damage to splenic tissue. Splenomegaly and changes in splenic cell numbers were the most common changes linked to P. chabaudi. Also noteworthy was that apoptotic splenic cell numbers correlated with changes in parasitemia.




This study suggested that reversible splenic lesions might develop after persistent low-grade parasitemia. Rapid changes in cellular splenic populations are influenced by apoptotic events, proving the role of the spleen in protective immunity against blood-borne infections due to P. chabaudi malaria.



Key words:

Apoptosis; Malaria; Mice; Spleen


J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2009;42:13-18.