In angiostrongyliasis, chronic parasite-induced granuloma formation can lead to tissue destruction and fibrosis. Here, the histomorphology of granulomatous fibrosis and proteinase production in the lungs of Angiostrongylus cantonensis-infected Sprague-Dawley rats were investigated. The relationship between metalloproteinases and granulomatous fibrosis was investigated following infection of each rat with 60 infective larvae. Granulomata and fibrosis were marked in the lungs of rats on day 180 post-inoculation. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction of lung mRNA showed an up-expression of proinflammatory cytokine including tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). According to Western blot analysis, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) proenzyme was presented in the lungs of uninfected and infected rats, and partial conversion of 72 kDa proenzyme to the 64kDa active form occurred in infected rats. In addition, increased protein levels of MMP-9 and MMP-13 were detected in infected lungs, but were undetectable in controls. The results suggest that TNF-α, IL-1β, MMP-2, -9, and -13 may be associated with the granulomatous fibrosis.
(Accepted January 30 2006)