Korean J Parasitol.  2010 Mar;48(1):15-21. 10.3347/kjp.2010.48.1.15.

Possible Role of Heme Oxygenase-1 and Prostaglandins in the Pathogenesis of Cerebral Malaria: Heme Oxygenase-1 Induction by Prostaglandin D2 and Metabolite by a Human Astrocyte Cell Line

  • 1Graduate Porgram in Biomedical Sciences, Clinical Coordination and Training Center, Thammasat University, Pathumtanee, Thailand. kesaratmu@yahoo.com


Astrocytes are the most abundant cells in the central nervous system that play roles in maintaining the blood-brain-barrier and in neural injury, including cerebral malaria, a severe complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection. Prostaglandin (PG) D2 is abundantly produced in the brain and regulates the sleep response. Moreover, PGD2 is a potential factor derived from P. falciparum within erythrocytes. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is catalyzing enzyme in heme breakdown process to release iron, carbon monoxide, and biliverdin/bilirubin, and may influence iron supply to the P. falciparum parasites. Here, we showed that treatment of a human astrocyte cell line, CCF-STTG1, with PGD2 significantly increased the expression levels of HO-1 mRNA by RT-PCR. Western blot analysis showed that PGD2 treatment increased the level of HO-1 protein, in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Thus, PGD2 may be involved in the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria by inducing HO-1 expression in malaria patients.


Plasmodium falciparum; astrocyte; heme oxygenase; iron; cerebral malaria; prostaglandin D2

MeSH Terms

Blotting, Western
Cell Line
Gene Expression Profiling
Heme Oxygenase-1/*biosynthesis
Malaria, Cerebral/*pathology
Malaria, Falciparum/*complications/*pathology
Plasmodium falciparum/*pathogenicity
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
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