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J Protozool. 1985 Aug;32(3):424-9.

Structural alteration of the membrane of erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum.

Abstract

Human erythrocytes infected with five strains of Plasmodium falciparum and Aotus erythrocytes infected with three strains of P. falciparum were studied by thin-section and freeze-fracture electron microscopy. All strains of P. falciparum we studied induced electron-dense conical knobs, measuring 30-40 nm in height and 90-100 nm in diameter on erythrocyte membranes. Freeze-fracture demonstrated that the knobs were distributed over the membrane of both human and Aotus erythrocytes. A distinct difference was seen between the intramembrane particle (IMP) distribution over the knobs of human and Aotus erythrocyte membranes. There was no change in IMP distribution in infected human erythrocyte membranes, but infected Aotus erythrocytes showed an aggregation of IMP over the P face of the knobs with a clear zone at the base. This difference in IMP distribution was related only to the host species and not to parasite strains. Biochemical analysis demonstrated that a higher proportion of band 3 was bound to the cytoskeleton of uninfected Aotus erythrocytes than uninfected human erythrocytes after Triton X-100 extraction. This may account for the different effects of P. falciparum infection on IMP distribution in the two different cell types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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