Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 10th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Arresting Behaviour
19 November 2016

Arresting Behaviour

Delirium, seizures, and deep coma. These are all signs of cerebral malaria, one of the most severe consequences of being infected with the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. How this parasite causes cerebral malaria is still unclear. Researchers modelled this condition in mice using two types of Plasmodium; one that causes cerebral malaria and one that doesn’t. Using fluorescent microscopy they found both types caused the immune cells, T lymphocytes (green), to accumulate alongside blood vessels (red) in the brain. However comparing the behaviour of T cells in these brains revealed those in brains infected with parasites that cause cerebral malaria (pictured) behaved quite differently. They were arrested, moving more slowly and not venturing as far. More digging is now needed to find out how this uniquely sluggish behaviour contributes to the detriment of brain function in cerebral malaria.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.