Parasitology Research

, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 377–382 | Cite as

Eryptosis of non-parasitized erythrocytes is related to anemia in Plasmodium berghei low parasitema malaria of Wistar rats

  • Paulo Renato Rivas TotinoEmail author
  • Hugo Amorim dos Santos de Souza
  • Edmar Henrique Costa Correa
  • Cláudio Tadeu Daniel-Ribeiro
  • Maria de Fátima Ferreira-da-Cruz
Immunology and Host-Parasite Interactions - Short Communication


It is known that premature elimination of non-parasitized RBCs (nRBCs) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of malarial anemia, in which suicidal death process (eryptosis) of nRBCs has been suggested to be involved. To check this possibility, we investigate eryptosis during infection of P. berghei ANKA in Wistar rats, a malaria experimental model that, similar to human malaria, the infection courses with low parasitemia and acute anemia. As expected, P. berghei ANKA infection was marked by low parasite burdens that reached a mean peak of 3% between days six and nine post-infection and solved spontaneously. A significant reduction of the hemoglobin levels (~ 30%) was also observed on days subsequent to the peak of parasitemia, persisting until day 16 post-infection. In eryptosis assays, it was observed a significant increase in the levels of PS-exposing nRBC, which coincided with the reduction of hemoglobin levels and was positively related to anemia. In addition to PS externalization, eryptosis of nRBC induced by P. berghei infection was characterized by cytoplasm calcium influx, but not caspases activity. These results confirm our previous studies evidencing a pro-eryptotic effect of malaria infection on nRBCs and show that a caspase-independent eryptotic process is implicated in anemia induced by P. berghei ANKA infection in Wistar rats.


Eryptosis P. berghei Malaria Anemia 


Funding information

This work received financial support from the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ, Brazil) and Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz, Brazil). CTDR is recipient of a Research Productivity Fellowship from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, Brazil) and CTDR and MFFC received grants from FAPERJ as “Cientistas do Nosso Estado”.

Compliance with ethical standards

All animal experiments were approved by the Ethical Committee of Animal Experiments of Instituto Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz (protocol: L-040/2015).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulo Renato Rivas Totino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hugo Amorim dos Santos de Souza
    • 1
  • Edmar Henrique Costa Correa
    • 1
  • Cláudio Tadeu Daniel-Ribeiro
    • 1
  • Maria de Fátima Ferreira-da-Cruz
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Malaria ResearchInstituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fundação Oswaldo CruzRio de JaneiroBrazil

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