Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Cell Biol. 1989 Aug;49(2):295-302.

Endocytosis by African trypanosomes. I. Three-dimensional structure of the endocytic organelles in Trypanosoma brucei and T. congolense.

Author information

International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases, Nairobi, Kenya.


African trypanosomes multiply rapidly during the course of infection obtaining nutrients from the host blood and other body fluids. The organelles involved in endocytosis were revealed ultrastructurally using horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and colloidal gold coupled to bovine transferrin (Au-Tf) or bovine serum albumin (Au-BSA). At 0 degree C the markers bound to the cell surface and neither entered the flagellar pocket nor were internalized. Upon warming to 37 degrees C, the markers were found in the flagellar pocket and appeared to enter all the intracellular endocytic organelles within 5 min. Serial sectioning of resin-embedded cells was employed to obtain pseudo three-dimensional views of these organelles. The organelles involved were of three types: (1) small vesicles and cisternae (20-25 nm in diameter), (2) large tubular networks (200 nm diameter) similar to endosomes of mammalian cells, and (3) large lysosome-like vesicles. These organelles were located between the flagellar pocket and the nucleus and were also associated with one face of the Golgi apparatus. In pulse-chase experiments HRP was not detected in intracellular organelles after 410 min but Au-Tf was seen in residual bodies. No exocytosis of Au-Tf from the flagellar pocket was observed. The data suggests that the processes of endocytosis in these parasitic protozoa may be similar to the endocytic processes found in mammalian cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center