International immunopharmacology

Lipoxin A4 attenuates endothelial dysfunction during experimental cerebral malaria.

PMID 25576659


A breakdown of the brain-blood barrier (BBB) due to endothelial dysfunction is a primary feature of cerebral malaria (CM). Lipoxins (LX) are specialized pro-resolving mediators that attenuate endothelial dysfunction in different vascular beds. It has already been shown that LXA4 prolonged Plasmodium berghei-infected mice survival by a mechanism that depends on inhibiting IL-12 production and CD8(+)IFN-γ(+) T cells in brain tissue; however, the effects of this treatment on endothelial dysfunction induced during experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) remains to be elucidated. Herein, we investigate the role of LXA4 on endothelial dysfunction during ECM. The treatment of P. berghei-infected mice with LXA4 prevented BBB breakdown and ameliorated behavioral symptoms but did not modulate TNF-α production. In addition, microcirculation analysis showed that treatment with LXA4 significantly increased functional capillary density in brains of P. berghei-infected C57BL/6 mice. Furthermore, histological analyses of brain sections demonstrated that exogenous LXA4 reduced capillary congestion that was accompanied by reduced ICAM-1 expression in the brain tissue. In agreement, LXA4 treatment of endothelial cells stimulated by Plasmodium berghei (Pb)- or Plasmodium falciparum (Pf)-parasitized red blood cells (RBCs) inhibited ICAM-1 expression. Additionally, LXA4 treatment restored the expression of HO-1 that is reduced during ECM. As well, LXA4 treatment inhibits PbRBC and PfRBC adhesion to endothelial cells that was reversed by the use of an HO-1 inhibitor (ZnPPIX). Our results demonstrate for the first time that LXA4 ameliorates endothelial dysfunction during ECM by modulating ICAM-1 and HO-1 expression in brain tissue.