Visceral leishmaniasis is a complex disease caused by Leishmania donovani and Leishmania infantum with worldwide distribution. In dogs, besides the classical symptoms of the disease, there are descriptions of inflammatory alterations in the brain, neurological symptoms and in some rare cases, the presence of the parasite. The detection of antibodies in the anterior chamber of animal eyes could be related to the uveitis processes in the infected animal. Both, brain and eyeball inflammation is a strict controlled process and counts on the efficiency of the blood barriers that are paramount for the immune privilege of those organs. With the present study we aimed to assess endothelial junctional proteins of brain and eyeballs of dogs with spontaneous visceral leishmaniasis. To this end, we will use immunohistochemistry to evaluate endothelial junctional proteins (occludin and 5-claudin-5) stain patterns in the blood brain barrier, CSF-blood barrier, blood-aqueous barrier and in the blood-retinal barrier. Albumin and Ig-G levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and aqueous humor will be quantified to access barriers function and we will use immunohistochemistry for detection of any perivascular leakage of albumin and IgG. DNA of Leishmania infantum will be searched on samples of brain tissue and in eyeballs using in situ hybridization.
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