Canine distemper is an important infectious disease with high mortality rate and multi-systemic involvement, including central nervous system. The demyelinating leukoencephalitis is the primary neuropathological alteration observed and the pathogenesis is not well understood. The disruption in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) with viral penetration and leukocyte infiltration are critical step in the development of demyelinating encephalitis. In humans beings and animals with similar neuropathological changes, the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and especially -2 and -9 has been appointed as agents that destabilizing the integrity of the BBB. Thus, in order to determine the involvement of MMPs 2 and 9 in breakdown of the BBB in dogs with distemper encephalitis, this study have the main scope to determine the expression of MMP by gelatin-zymography in serum and cerebrospinal fluid of healthy dogs (G1, n = 10) and dogs with spontaneous canine distemper encephalitis (G2, n = 10). Moreover, the biochemical and cytological CSF parameters will be determined to obtain more information about the BBB's integrity.
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