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Publications (6)10.05 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Animal models of Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) have been developed to understand the pathogenic mechanisms leading to the passage into the neurological phase, most of them referring to histological aspects but not clinical or behavioral data. Our study aimed at defining simple clinical and/or behavioral markers of the passage between the hemolymphatic phase and the meningo-encephalitic stage of the disease. Sprague-Dawley rats (n=24) were infected with Trypanosoma brucei brucei AnTat 1.1E. Food intake and body weight were measured daily from the day of infection until death. Hematocrit was measured twice a week. Behavioral disturbances were evaluated through an Open-field test. A sudden weight loss occurred on the twelfth day after infection, due to a significant drop of food intake starting two days before. The rats developed an anemic state shown by the hematocrit measurements. The Open-field test showed them to be less active and reactive as soon as the second week after infestation. A complementary histological study observed trypanosomes and inflammatory cells in the choroid plexus at the same period. These results are in favor of central nervous system functional disturbances. The observed weight loss is discussed as being a parameter of the entry in the meningo-encephalitic phase. The rat model reproduces neurological symptoms observed in the human disease and may prove to be useful for further neurohistological and therapeutic studies.
    Experimental Biology and Medicine 01/2004; 228(11):1355-62. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, evolves toward a meningoencephalitic stage, with a breakage in the blood-brain barrier, perivascular infiltrates, and astrocytosis. The involvement of nitric oxide (NO) has been evoked in the pathogenic development of the illness, since NO was found to be increased in the brain of animals infected with Trypanosoma brucei (T. b.) brucei. An excessive NO production can lead to alterations of neuronal signaling and to cell damage through the cytotoxicity of NO and its derivatives, especially peroxynitrites. In African trypanosomiasis, the sites of NO production and its role in the pathogenicity of lesions in the central nervous system (CNS) are unknown. In a chronic model of African trypanosomiasis (mice infected with T. b. brucei surviving with episodic suramin administration), NADPH-diaphorase staining of brain slides revealed that NO synthase (NOS) activity is located not only in endothelial cells, choroid plexus ependymal cells, and neurons as in control mice but also in mononuclear inflammatory cells located in perivascular and parenchyma infiltrates. An immunohistochemical study showed that the mononuclear inflammatory cells expressed an inducible NOS activity. Furthermore, the presence of nitrotyrosine in inflammatory lesions demonstrated an increased NO production and the intermediate formation of peroxynitrites. The detection of extensive formation of nitrotyrosine in the CNS parenchyma was observed in mice having shown neurological disorders, suggesting the role of peroxynitrites in the appearance of neurological troubles. In conclusion, this study confirmed the increased NO synthesis in the CNS of mice infected with T. b. brucei and suggests a deleterious role for NO, through the formation of peroxynitrites, in the pathogenesis of African CNS trypanosomiasis.
    Experimental Parasitology 06/2000; 95(1):19-27. · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemotherapy for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), or sleeping sickness, is unreliable because of resistance, refraction and toxic and adverse side-effects. Using a long-term experimental model of HAT with involvement of the central nervous system (CNS), we tested the ability of a megazol and suramin combination treatment to eliminate CNS trypanosomes. This consisted of 20 mg suramin per kg body weight administered intraperitoneally (i.p.), followed 24 h later by 4 daily doses (80 mg/kg) of megazol given either i.p. or per os. One week post-treatment, neurological disorders had disappeared. One of 15 mice relapsed in each application group at 81 and 98 days after treatment, respectively. At six months, no signs of relapse were seen in remaining mice, indicating that this chemotherapy regimen was curative. Immunohistochemical (astrocytosis) and histological (inflammatory lesions) examinations of brain tissues showed that animals returned to normal from 2 months post-treatment. These results suggest that the megazol-suramin combination reversed the CNS pathology in this model.
    Tropical Medicine & International Health 10/1998; 3(9):736-41. · 2.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melarsoprol has remained the chosen drug for the late-stage treatment of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) due both to Trypanosoma brucei (T.b.) gambiense and T.b. rhodesiense; however, arsenical encephalopathies, which are often fatal, occur in 5-10% of the treated cases. To date, two major problems have not been solved. The first one is the precise diagnosis of early involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) which determines the therapeutics to be administered. The second one is linked to the lack of data on in vivo efficacy of products which are effective in vitro against trypanosomes. Answers have to be provided by experimental animal models of HAT. Such models would allow for better studies of the pathology and pathogenesis of the disease, as well as therapeutic trials of potentially effective new drugs or combinations. We have developed acute and chronic murine and sheep experimental animal models of HAT infected by T. b. brucei. Meningoencephalitis and neurological signs are relatively difficult to obtain in murine models and require artificial means, such as suramin treatment on day 21 after-infection. The chronic murine model has demonstrated CNS involvement with meningitis, followed by meningoencephalitis with progressive astrocytosis. The sheep model develops a disease with CNS complications and cerebrospinal fluid can be collected. In the sheep model, we have described anti-galactocerebrosides antibodies, which represent major components of myelin, which may indicate an autoimmune process in the CNS. We then described these antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluids and sera from patients at a late-stage of the disease. From a therapeutic point of view, we have cured mice or sheep with low doses of melarsoprol, or with the nitroimidazole derivatives Ro 15-0216 and megazol, alone or combined with suramin. Further studies of these nitroimidazole compounds, which could be proposed for human use, have to be carried out on a-primate model infected by T.b. gambiense. To our knowledge, this primate model is not available. This is why we have recently developed a T. b. gambiense primate model of HAT on Cercopithecus aethiops.
    Bulletin de la Société de pathologie exotique 02/1998; 91(2):127-32.
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    ABSTRACT: A simple and sensitive high-performance liquid chromatographic method has been developed to measure megazol in human plasma. The method was optimized and validated according to the Washington Concensus Conference on the Validation of Analytical Methods (V.P. Shah et al., Eur. J. Drug Metab. Pharmacokinet., 15 (1991) 249). The criteria of complete validation were specificity, linearity, precision, analytical recovery, dilution and stability. It involved extraction of the plasma with dichloromethane, followed by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography using a Kromasil C8 column and UV detection at 360 nm. The retention times of the internal standard (tinidazol) and megazol were 6.10 and 9.60 min, respectively. The standard curve was linear from 2 ng ml-1 (limit of quantification) to 2000 ng ml-1. The coefficients of variation for all the criteria of validation were less than 6%; 85 to 92% extraction efficiencies were obtained. Megazol was stable during the storage period (one month at -20 degrees C) in plasma and for two months at 25 degrees C in standard solution. The method was tested by measuring the plasma concentration following oral administration to rat and was shown to be suitable for pharmacokinetic studies.
    Journal of chromatography. B, Biomedical sciences and applications 09/1997; 696(2):261-6.
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    ABSTRACT: The search for a chronic experimental model for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) in animals with cerebral lesions and neurological disorders has been difficult. Models with meningo-encephalitis have been proposed using Trypanosoma brucei gambiense or T. b. rhodesiense. Meningo-encephalitis is rare in infection with T. b. brucei. It has been shown that the treatment of mice infected with T. b. brucei with diminazene aceturate (Berenyl) led to development of a rapid meningo-encephalitis. In this study, we report the development of a chronic experimental model of HAT in mice infected with T. b. brucei AnTat 1.1E. To obtain a chronic evolution of the infection, on Day 21 postinfection, mice were treated with a dose of suramin (Moranyl) at 20 mg x kg(-1) body weight, a dose which failed to eliminate trypanosomes in the central nervous system (CNS). This treatment, repeated after each parasitemic relapse in the blood, allowed animals to survive more than 300 days postinfection. After a few weeks of infection, mice displayed neurological signs. Histological studies showed the appearance of increasing inflammatory lesions, from meningitis to meningo-encephalitis, with progression of lesions throughout the perivascular spaces in cerebral and cerebellum parenchyma. No demyelination or neuronal alteration were observed except in the necrotic spaces. Trypanosomes were observed in different structures in CNS. An immunohistochemical study of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) showed an increasing astrocytosis according to the duration of the infection. This model reproduces neurological and histological pathology observed in the human disease and can be useful for further immunopathological, neurohistological and therapeutic studies on this condition.
    Experimental Parasitology 03/1997; 85(2):183-92. · 2.15 Impact Factor