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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-43

The effect of malaria-induced serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha on epiphyseal bone formation of rats

1 Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2 Department of Pathology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
3 Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ato Ampomah Brown
Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ami.ami_10_20

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Aim: Malaria infection has long been associated with stunted growth in children and by extension bone formation. There is, however, a paucity of information on the specific factors or substances that are responsible for this observation. The objective of this study was, therefore, to find out whether malaria-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) influenced in any way the formation of the epiphyseal bone layer of Sprague Dawley rats. Materials and Methods: Thirty-two Sprague Dawley rats aged 4 weeks were used in this study, and the animals were randomly allocated to four groups (Group A–D), with each group having 8 animals. Animals in Group A were given oral artemether/lumefantrine combination drug only, animals in Group B were inoculated with Plasmodium berghei (NK65) only, those in Group C were inoculated with P. berghei (NK65) and treated with oral artemether/lumefantrine, while animals in Group D were neither inoculated with the malaria parasite nor given artemether/lumefantrine therapy. Blood was drawn from the animals at predetermined intervals to measure serum TNF-α levels. Results: Recurrent bouts of murine malaria caused serum TNF-α levels to be significantly elevated even after the infected animals were successfully treated. The elevated serum TNF-α levels were found to correlate with the amount of bone tissue deposited at the distal femoral epiphysis. Conclusion: Malaria-induced TNF-α most likely delays bone tissue formation and may be a major contributing factor in the development of stunted growth in children.

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