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Br J Vener Dis. 1982 Feb;58(1):1-11.

Morphological destruction of cultured cells by the attachment of Treponema pallidum.

Abstract

The incubation of Treponema pallidum with rabbit testicular cells, HEP-2 cells, human foreskin cells, rat cardiac cells, and rat skeletal muscle cells caused morphological disruption of these cultured cells. Control preparations of heat-inactivated treponemes, a high-speed supernatant in which treponemes had been pelleted, and culture medium failed to damage the tissue cells, as did viable treponemes when the cells were incubated in inverted Sykes-Moore chambers. Thus, cellular disruption is not associated with soluble treponemal, soluble inflammatory, or soluble testicular constituents but is mediated by the specific attachment of T pallidum. This organism apparently elaborates some type of toxic activity that lyses membranes: this may explain some of the histopathology of syphilitic disease.

PMID:
7034856
PMCID:
PMC1045991
DOI:
10.1136/sti.58.1.1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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