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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X


DE-SOUZA, W. et al. The use of confocal laser scanning microscopy to analyze the process of parasitic protozoon-host cell interaction. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 1998, vol.31, n.11, pp.1459-1470. ISSN 1414-431X.

In this communication we review the results obtained with the confocal laser scanning microscope to characterize the interaction of epimastigote and trypomastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi and tachyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii with host cells. Early events of the interaction process were studied by the simultaneous localization of sites of protein phosphorylation, revealed by immunocytochemistry, and sites of actin assembly, revealed by the use of labeled phaloidin. The results obtained show that proteins localized in the interaction sites are phosphorylated. The process of formation of the parasitophorous vacuole was monitored by labeling the host cell surface with fluorescent probes for lipids (PKH26), proteins (DTAF) and sialic acid (FITC-thiosemicarbazide) before interaction with the parasites. Evidence was obtained indicating transfer of components of the host cell surface to the parasite surface in the beginning of the interaction process. We also analyzed the distribution of cytoskeletal structures (microtubules and microfilaments visualized with specific antibodies), mitochondria (visualized with rhodamine 123), the Golgi complex (visualized with C6-NBD-ceramide) and the endoplasmic reticulum (visualized with anti-reticulin antibodies and DIOC6) during the evolution of intracellular parasitism. The results obtained show that some, but not all, structures change their position during evolution of the intracellular parasitism.

Keywords : confocal laser scanning microscopy; host cell-parasite interaction; Trypanosoma cruzi; Toxoplasma gondii.

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