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J Gen Microbiol. 1989 Sep;135(9):2379-86.

The effect of Chlamydia trachomatis infection on the host cell cytoskeleton and membrane compartments.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Medical School, University of Manchester, UK.


Human epithelial cells and the McCoy cell line were infected with Chlamydia trachomatis, serotype E. The organization of the cytoplasm was then studied with probes which stained cytoskeletal components and membrane compartments. The major actin-containing stress fibre bundles were not associated with inclusions due to the peri-basal and peri-apical location of these bundles within the host cell. The cytokeratin network was distorted by the presence of inclusions so that a common basket of these intermediate filaments surrounded both nucleus and peri-nuclear inclusions. The microtubule network was similarly distorted, but the nucleus and inclusion were surrounded by separate rather than joint baskets of tubules. After reversible depolymerization by nocadazole the microtubules in amniotic epithelial cells began to reassemble at the peri-nuclear microtubule-organizing centre, so that independent microtubule networks were rapidly regenerated around the nucleus and inclusion. Mitochondria of amniotic epithelial cells were vitally stained with the fluorescent probe DiOC6 (3,3'-dihexyloxacarbocyanine iodide) after 48 h of infection and found to be widely distributed throughout the host cytoplasm. When the morphology of the Golgi complex was examined with C6-NBD-ceramide (N-[7-(4-nitrobenzo-2-oxa-1,3-diazole)] aminocaproyl sphingosine) the main cisternae were retained in a juxta-nuclear position, although scattered stained structures were also present close to the cytoplasmic surface of the inclusion. These results demonstrate that the peri-nuclear position of inclusions is determined by the configuration of the cytoskeleton, and that normal host-cell architecture is maintained during infection, albeit in a distorted form.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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