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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.85 no.4 Rio de Janeiro Oct./Dec. 1990 

Freeze-fracture study of Trichomonas vaginalis

Marlene Benchimol1 

Wanderley de Souza

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Departamento de Parasitologia e Biofísica. laboratório de Ultraestrutura Celular e Microscopia, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


The freeze-fracture technique was used to analyse the organization of the plasma membrane, as well as membranes of cytoplasmic organelles, of the pathogenic protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. Rosettes formed by 4 to 14 intramembranous particles were seen on the fracture faces of the membrane lining the anterior flagella as well as in fracture faces of the plasma membrane enclosing the anterior region of the protozoan and in cytoplasmic organelles. Special organization of the membrane particles were also seen in the region of association of the recurrent flagellum to the cell body.

Key words: Trichomonas vaginalis; membrane structure; freeze-fracture; electron microscopy


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