Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid after meningitis induced by Streptococcus pneumoniae

Tatiana Barichello, Ivonete dos Santos, Geovana D. Savi, Anelise F. Florentino, Cintia Silvestre, Clarissa M. Comim, Gustavo Feier, Daniela Sachs, Mauro M. Teixeira, Antonio L. Teixeira, João Quevedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Bacterial meningitis due to Streptococcus pneumoniae is associated with a significant mortality rate and persisting neurologic sequelae including sensory-motor deficits, seizures, and impairments of learning and memory. The presence of proliferating bacteria within the subarachnoid and ventricular space compartments triggers an intense inflammatory host response at killing the invading microorganism. Proinflammatory mediators released in the process include tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6. TNF-α have several effects, including cytotoxicity, antiviral activity, transcription factor activation, and immune response regulation. Thus, the aim of this study was to verify the levels of the TNF-α after pneumococcal meningitis in male Wistar rats. The animals underwent a magna cistern tap receiving either 10 μL sterile saline as a placebo or an equivalent volume of a S. pneumoniae suspension at the concentration 5 × 109 cfu/mL. The animals were killed at 0, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 96 h after induction. The brain was removed and hippocampus, cortex, prefrontal and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were isolated and used for the determination of TNF-α levels. We found an increase in TNF-α levels at 6 h after induction of the meningitis in the hippocampus (p < 0.01), frontal cortex (p < 0.05), and cerebrospinal fluid (p < 0.001).There was no alteration in the cortex. Our data suggest that TNF-α is involved in the pathophysiology of the pneumococcal meningitis and could be investigated as a putative biomarker for brain damage in the first hours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-219
Number of pages3
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 31 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • CNS
  • Meningitis
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid after meningitis induced by Streptococcus pneumoniae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this