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J Protozool. 1990 Nov-Dec;37(6):528-36.

Plasmodium sporozoite interactions with macrophages in vitro: a videomicroscopic analysis.

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Department of Medical and Molecular Parasitology, New York University School of Medicine, New York 10016.


Studies of in vitro interactions between Plasmodium berghei sporozoites and peritoneal macrophages from mice and rats were performed. A videomicroscopic analysis was made of interactions observed by phase-contrast microscopy. Our results showed a diversity of dynamic interactions between sporozoites and macrophages that included no interaction, surface interaction without sporozoite interiorization, active sporozoite penetration, active penetration with subsequent sporozoite escape, macrophage destruction, and the formation of "tethers" or web-like structures by sporozoites that had actively invaded macrophages. Sporozoites are thus clearly capable of actively invading host macrophages and are not restricted to being phagocytosed for interiorization. The formation of "tethers" by the moving sporozoite might function in vivo by anchoring the sporozoite to the cells lining the lumen of the liver sinusoid. Active sporozoite motility appears to be a functional phenomenon involved in sporozoite invasion of host liver cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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