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Am J Pathol. 1975 May;79(2):285-300.

Caveola--vesicle complexes in the plasmalemma of erythrocytes infected by Plasmodium vivax and P cynomolgi. Unique structures related to Schüffner's dots.


Erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium vivax and P cynomolgi, characterized by Schüffner's dots on Giemsa-stained thin films, were studied by electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry. A caveola-vesicle complex, which consisted of a caveola surrounded by vesicles, in an alveolar fashion, formed along the erythrocyte plasmalemma. Horseradish-peroxidase-labeled immunoglobulin from a monkey infected with P vivax bound to the vesicle membrane. Cationized ferritin appeared within the vesicles after incubation with viable parasitized erythrocytes, suggesting that these vesicles were pinocytotic in origin. This caveola-vesicle complex probably corresponds to Schüffner's dots because the alteration is unique to vivax- and ovale-type malarias, and its size and distribution are consistent with Schüffner's dots. Clefts observed within the cytoplasm of infected erythrocytes are present in all malarias and are unlikely candidates for Schüffner's data.

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