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Parasitology Research

, Volume 86, Issue 9, pp 699–709 | Cite as

Transient invagination of flagella by Tritrichomonas foetus

  • Bruce L. Granger
  • Sarah J. Warwood
  • Marlene Benchimol
  • Wanderley De Souza
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

We describe an experimental system for the study of rapid and reversible formation of pseudocysts, which are spherical forms that lack a true cyst wall, by Tritrichomonas foetus, a trichomonad parasite of the bovine genitourinary tract. It highlights the dynamics of the plasma membrane and cytoskeleton of this parasite, which is perpetually devoid of any sort of protective cell wall, and can reflect a responsive survival mechanism. We have found that cooling of axenic cultures of T. foetus from their normal 37 °C to below about 16 °C can trigger pseudocyst formation. The three anterior flagella and the single recurrent flagellum can be fully internalized within 1–3 min at 37 °C, with the axonemes and flagellar membranes remaining intact within the cell body. Electron microscopy confirms that the internalized flagella are surrounded by a separate membrane. At 37 °C the internalized flagella can resume beating movements and become externalized as quickly as within 10 min. We have begun to elucidate the mechanisms of this unusual phenomenon, characterizing its temperature dependence and exploring the effects of agents that interfere with various aspects of the cytoskeleton, phagocytosis, endocytosis, and exocytosis.

Keywords

Plasma Membrane Cell Wall Cell Body Experimental System Survival Mechanism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce L. Granger
    • 2
  • Sarah J. Warwood
    • 2
  • Marlene Benchimol
    • 1
  • Wanderley De Souza
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratório de Ultraestrutura Celular, Universidade Santa Úrsula, Rua Jornalista Orlando Dantas 59, 222 31010 Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil e-mail: marleneb@domain.com.br Fax: +55-21-5531615BR
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and Veterinary Molecular Biology Laboratory, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USAUS
  3. 3.Laboratório de Ultraestrutura Celular Hertha Meyer, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, BrazilBR

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