The spleen plays a crucial role in the development of immunity to malaria, but the role of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in splenic effector cells during malaria infection is poorly understood. In the present study, we analysed the expression of selected PRRs in splenic effector cells from BALB/c mice infected with the lethal and non-
lethal Plasmodium yoelii
strains 17XL and 17X, respectively, and the non-lethal Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi
AS strain. The results of these experiments showed fewer significant changes in the expression of PRRs in AS-infected mice than in 17X and 17XL-infected mice. Mannose receptor C type 2 (MRC2) expression increased with parasitemia, whereas Toll-like receptors and sialoadhesin (Sn) decreased in mice infected with P. chabaudi AS. In contrast, MRC type 1 (MRC1), MRC2 and EGF-like module containing mucin-like hormone receptor-like sequence 1 (F4/80) expression decreased with parasitemia in mice infected with 17X, whereas MRC1 an MRC2 increased and F4/80 decreased in mice infected with 17XL. Furthermore, macrophage receptor with collagenous structure and CD68 declined rapidly after initial parasitemia. SIGNR1 and Sn expression demonstrated minor variations in the spleens of mice infected with either strain. Notably, macrophage scavenger receptor (Msr1) and dendritic cell-associated C-type lectin 2 expression increased at both the transcript and protein levels in 17XL-infected mice with 50% parasitemia. Furthermore, the increased lethality of 17X infection in Msr1 -/- mice demonstrated a protective role for Msr1. Our results suggest a dual role for these receptors in parasite clearance and protection in 17X infection and lethality in 17XL infection.