Status of hepatic heme and heme oxygenase during Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis infection in mice

S. K. Sahni, N. Saxena, B. L. Tekwani, G. P. Dutta, V. C. Pandey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis infection in albino mice caused a significant increase in hepatic heme level, the increase being concomitant with a rise in parasitemia. This elevated heme was found to be associated with all the subcellular fractions except the cytosol, where its content remained unaltered. Activity of heme oxygenase, the key enzyme responsible for catabolism of heme, also increased progressively with rise in parasitemia. Treatment of normal mice with cobalt chloride [60 mg (kg body wt)-1; subcutaneously] brought about a 150% increase in the level of heme oxygenase; similar treatment of infected mice at low parasitemia could induce the enzyme activity while at high parasitemia the enzymic activity remained unaltered as compared to untreated infected mice. In spite of an increased level of heme oxygenase in the cobalt-treated mice, the level of heme did not show any noticeable change. Oral administration of chloroquine [64 mg (kg body wt)-1 × 4 days] brought about a 56% reduction in the level of heme oxygenase of normal animals but there was no change in infected animals when compared with the corresponding untreated infected mice. However, the amount of chloroquine present in livers of normal and infected animals was not significantly different.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental and Molecular Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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