Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a disease with a large range of clinical manifestations, including asymptomatic, subclinical and generalized disorders. Chronically infected dogs may present with neurological disorders, however the pathogenesis of the cerebral form of VL is still to be elucidated. There are evidences of brain inflammation in dogs with VL, characterized mainly by choroiditis and meningitis, including T lymphocytes, glial cells activation, degenerative alterations in neurons, and matrix metalloproteinases enzymes. The choroid plexus forms an important interface between the CSF and the peripheral vascular system, and it is a potential structure to allow the passage of inflammatory cells towards the CNS, in addition to act as a source of inflammatory mediators in several diseases. Following previous research projects which aimed to describe and quantify the brain inflammatory lesions and to investigate the mechanisms involved in its occurrence, we aim to evaluate the gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines as well as the integrity of the tight junction proteins of the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier in the choroid plexus of dogs naturally infected with Leishmania infantum.
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