Assemblages A and B of Giardia duodenalis reduce enteric glial cells in the small intestine in mice

Abstract

Infection of Giardia duodenalis is one of the most common human parasitic disease worldwide. This infection may be related to important changes in the enteric nervous system. The objective of this study was to evaluate the myenteric and submucosal plexuses, the intestinal muscle layer, and gastrointestinal transit in mice infected with assemblages A and B of G. duodenalis. Swiss albino mice (Mus musculus) were infected with assemblages A and B of G. duodenalis for 15 days. Gastrointestinal transit time was evaluated before euthanasia. Duodenum and jejunum were removed for histological and immunohistochemical analyses. It was observed a reduction in the enteric glial cell count and a decrease in the ratio of enteric glial cells to neurons. The number of neurons did not change, but morphological changes were observed in the duodenum and jejunum in both plexuses, including an increase in the nuclear area and a reduction of cell bodies in the myenteric plexus and a decrease in the nuclear area in the submucosal plexus. A reduction of the thickness of the muscle layer was observed in the duodenum, with no significant differences in the gastrointestinal transit times. Assemblages A and B of G. duodenalis decrease the number of enteric glial cells in the myenteric and submucosal plexuses, decrease the thickness of the muscle layer, and change the morphology of neurons.

Graphical abstract

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Assemblages A and B of Giardia duodenalis reduce enteric glial cells in the small intestine in mice

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