Potential link between Complement 5a Receptor and mood disorders in mouse exposed to experimental malaria in utero

Akhabue K Okojie, O E Okobi, Hamza Dar, Hurmat Malik, Mehreen Arif, Khalid Rauf, Eghosa E Iyare


In Africa, a large number of pregnancies are exposed to Plasmodium falciparum infection. The in-utero environment extremely influences childhood neurodevelopment and behaviour. The complement 5a receptor (C5aR) is linked to several disease conditions. However, the influence of Plasmodium berghei during pregnancy on maternal complement 5a receptor and subsequently on fetal behaviour is unknown. Pregnant mice were intra-peritoneally inoculated on gestational day 13 with 1.02x105 infected red blood cells (iRBCs). iRBCs used in this experiment were gotten by in vivo passage of P. berghei in mice when the level of iRBCs have gotten to about 10-20%. A section of pregnant mice (both test and control groups) were earmarked to give birth and their offspring monitored up to postnatal day 42 when depression-like behaviour was evaluated using tail suspension test model. The other pregnant mice were subjected to cardiac puncture on gestational day 19 for C5a receptor estimation using Elisa assay. Results showed that pregnant mice infected with P. berghei had elevated C5a receptor compared with uninfected pregnant females. It was also shown that P. berghei-exposed offspring presented a depressive-like behaviour compared to unexposed controls. It may be concluded from this study, that complement 5a receptor demonstrates a pathogenic role in signaling and its possible role in mediating depression linked to Plasmodium berghei exposure in utero.

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