Data For: "An Exaggerated Immune Response in Female BALB/c Mice Controls Initial Toxoplasma gondii Multiplication but Increases Mortality and Morbidity Relative to Male Mice"

  • Rasha Abdulrahman A ALONAIZAN (Creator)
  • Stuart Woods (Contributor)
  • Kerrie Hargrave (Contributor)
  • Craig Roberts (Supervisor)



Studies indicate that female mice are more susceptible to T. gondii infection, as defined by higher mortality rates in comparison to male mice. However, whether this is due to an inability to con-trol initial parasite multiplication or due to detrimental effects of the immune system has not been determined. Therefore, the following studies were undertaken to determine the influence of sex on early parasite multiplication and the immune response during T. gondii infection and to correlate this with disease outcome. Early parasite replication was studied through applying an in vivo imaging system (IVIS) with luciferase expressing T. gondii. In parallel immunological events were studied by cytometric bead array to quantify key immunological mediators. The results con-firmed the previous findings that female mice are more susceptible to acute infection, as deter-mined by higher mortality rates and weight loss compared with males. However, conflicting with expectations, female mice had lower parasite burdens during the acute infection than male mice. Female mice also exhibited significantly increased production of Monocyte Chemoattract-ant Protein-1 (MCP-1), Interferon (IFN) -γ, and Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF) -α than male mice. MCP-1 was found to be induced by T. gondii in a dose dependent manner suggesting that the ob-served increased levels detected in female mice was due to a host-mediated sex difference rather than due to parasite load. However, MCP-1 was not affected by physiological concentration of estrogen or testosterone, indicating that MCP-1 differences observed between the sexes in vivo are due to an as yet unidentified intermediary factor that in turn influences MCP-1 levels. These re-sults suggest that a stronger immune response in female mice compared with male mice enhances their ability to control parasite replication but increases their morbidity and mortality.
Date made available15 Oct 2021
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Date of data production1 Mar 2016 - 29 Feb 2020

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