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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

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

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.88 no.3 Rio de Janeiro July/Sept. 1993 

Immunogold labeling and cerium cytochemistry of the enzyme ecto-5'-nucleotidase in promastigote forms of Leishmania species

Suzana Corte-Real1 

Renato Porrozzi1 

Maria de Nazareth Leal de Meirelles1 

Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Departamento de Ultraestrutura e Biologia Celular, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


We have applied both enzyme cytochemistry and immunological labeling techniques to characterize the enzyme 5'-nucleotidase (5'-Nase), at the ultrastructural level, in promastigote forms of four Leishmania species: Leishmania amazonensis, Leishmania mexicana, Leishmania donovani and Leishmania chagasi. The cerium phosphate staining was localized at the surface of the cell body, the flagellum and the flagellar pocket membranes of all the parasites studied. The immunogold labelling technique confirmed these results. In this report we localized 5'-Nase in L. chagasi and L. amazonensis which have been implicated respectively in visceral and cutaneous forms of leishmaniasis. In addition, we confirmed the localization of this phosphomonoesterase in the other two species studied. The superior quality of the images, obtained with both methodologies, confirms that these parasites possess mechanisms capable of hydrolyzing nucleotide monophosphates, and that the expression of 5'-Nase is associated with the outer surface of the plasma membrane.


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