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Cerebrospinal Fluid Levels of Biopterin, Nitric Oxide Metabolites, and Immune Activation Markers and the Clinical Course of Human Cerebral Malaria

Günter Weiss, Philip E. Thuma, Godfrey Biemba, George Mabeza, Ernst R. Werner and Victor R. Gordeuk
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 177, No. 4 (Apr., 1998), pp. 1064-1068
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30108106
Page Count: 5
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Cerebrospinal Fluid Levels of Biopterin, Nitric Oxide Metabolites, and Immune Activation Markers and the Clinical Course of Human Cerebral Malaria
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Abstract

Cerebrospinal fluid samples from 130 children who presented with cerebral malaria were investigated to elucidate the impact of biopterin production, NO formation, and local immune activation on the clinical course of this disease. Biopterin levels were significantly lower in patients who were in a deeper coma (P = .02). Cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of NO were significantly higher in children who died than in survivors (P = .037); however, this was not the case for macrophage activation markers, neopterin, and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor p75 (sTNFR-75). Biopterin, neopterin, and sTNFR-75 but not NO concentrations were significantly related to each other. Low biopterin levels in deep coma are compatible with an impaired local Th1 response, but the low levels could also be due to the scavenging of radicals or to decreased neurotransmitter synthesis. Local production of NO, most likely by nonimmune mechanisms, may be detrimental in cerebral malaria; however, this appears not to be the case for local Th1-mediated immune pathways.

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