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Plasmodium falciparum malaria causes half a million deaths per year, with up to 9% of this mortality caused by cerebral malaria (CM). One of the major processes contributing to the development of CM is an excess of host inflammatory cytokines. Recently K+ signaling has emerged as an important mediator of the inflammatory response to infection; we therefore investigated whether mice carrying an ENU induced activation of the electroneutral K+ channel KCC1 had an altered response to Plasmodium berghei. Here we show that Kcc1M935K/M935K mice are protected from the development of experimental cerebral malaria, and that this protection is associated with an increased CD4+ and TNFa response. This is the first description of a K+ channel affecting the development of experimental cerebral malaria.


Elinor Hortle, Lora Starrs, Fiona C Brown, Stephen M Jane, David J Curtis, Brendan J McMorran, Simon J Foote, Gaetan Burgio. KCC1 Activation protects Mice from the Development of Experimental Cerebral Malaria. Scientific reports. 2019 Apr 23;9(1):6356

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PMID: 31015511

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