Immunological characterization of Neospora caninum cyclophilin

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Neospora caninum is an intracellular parasite that poses a unique ability to infect a variety of cell types by causing host cell migration. Although previous studies demonstrated that parasite-derived proteins could trigger host cell migration, the related molecules have yet to be determined. Our study aimed to investigate the relationship between Neospora-derived molecules and host cell migration using recombinant protein of N. caninum cyclophilin (NcCyp). Indirect fluorescent antibody test revealed that NcCyp was expressed in the tachyzoite cytosol. Furthermore, NcCyp release from extracellular parasites was detected by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in a time-dependent manner. Recombinant NcCyp caused the cysteine–cysteine chemokine receptor 5-dependent migration of murine and bovine cells. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry indicated that NcCyp was consistently detected in tachyzoites distributed within or around the brain lesions. In conclusion, N. caninum-derived cyclophilin appears to contribute to host cell migration, thereby maintaining parasite/host interactions.

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