Congenital toxoplasmosis (TC) from Toxoplasma gondii positive mother to child transmission results in fetal death, abortion, or infantile neurologic and neurocognitive deficits as well as chorioretinitis. This study aims to analyze the morphological changes in brain and skeletal muscle cells of Swiss mouse embryos during experimental congenital toxoplasmosis. Swiss mice, before mating, were gavage inoculation infected with approximately 25 or 50 cysts of ME‐49 strain T. gondii. Eighteen day postcoitus maternal and embryonic muscle and brain samples were collected and processed for histopathological analysis. The muscle tissue from embryos of infected mothers, in comparison with healthy muscle myofibers, exhibited discontinuous and shorter myofibrils, more interfibrillar space and immature cells with fewer stained and poorly defined striated profiles. These in vivo findings might be related to an adhesion protein decrease, observed in vitro, where myogenesis was completely affected during Toxoplasma infection. The neurogenesis was severely affected with irregularly arranged cells, reduced cell density, and a significant intercellular space increase. The brain tissue presented ischemia, cell death, necrosis, and thrombi, increasing according to the degree of the acute infection, which compromised the neurogenesis, thereby justifying brain size decrease in these embryos.
Part of the book: Toxoplasmosis