Experimental parasitology

Endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated apoptosis is activated in intestines of mice with Trichinella spiralis infection.

PMID 24996067


Gastrointestinal helminth infection, including Trichinella spiralis, initiates a series of intestinal structural, cellular and physiological changes. Intestinal invasion is an important stage of trichinellosis because it determines the development and subsequent course of the disease and its consequences. Apoptosis mediated by endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) plays a key role in infectious diseases, but the effect of T. spiralis infection on inducing apoptosis in the small intestine has been neglected. We investigated apoptosis and changes in ERS-associated apoptosis molecules in the intestine of mice with T. spiralis infection. TUNEL staining and detection of the apoptotic marker cleaved caspase 3 revealed that apoptosis occurred in the mouse intestine at days 3 and 7 post-infection. The ER chaperone 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) was upregulated at days 3 and 7 post-infection. The ERS-associated apoptosis molecules C/EBP homologous protein, cleaved caspase 12 and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase were upregulated at days 3 and 7, days 3, 7 and 10 and days 7 and 10 post-infection, respectively. Thus, apoptosis occurred in the intestine of mice with T. spiralis infection, and the ERS-mediated apoptosis pathway was activated by infection with this small intestine dwelling nematode.