A murine model of congenital toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis.
A histopathological study of toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis in 39 eyes of mice infected in utero with Toxoplasma gondii and sacrificed at 16 weeks post-partum showed a wide variation in the pattern of tissue destruction. The changes in individual eyes were graded from mild to severe; Toxoplasma cysts were present in the retina and optic nerve in each grade. In the least affected eyes, Toxoplasma cysts were rarely seen and the disease was limited to a low grade uveitis and retinal lymphocytic perivasculitis. In the more severely affected eyes, there was focal, sectorial or total retinal destruction with secondary degeneration in the lens. In some eyes inflammatory destruction of the outer retina was associated either with a paucity of cells, or with lymphocytic infiltration or with plasma cell infiltration; giant cell granulomatous reactions were rare. In the most severely affected eyes the retina was necrotic and calcified. The findings illustrate the complexity of toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis and suggest that autoimmunity may play a part in the disease process.
Lee, WR; Hay, J; Hutchison, WM; Dutton, GN; Siim, JC
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