Ultrastructure of lymphocytes from patients with paracoccidioidomycosis in the lymphocyte transformation test by phytohemagglutinin
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The morphology and ultrastructure of peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) and from unaffected individuals (controls) were studied before and after Ficoll-Hypaque separation and at the end of culture, stimulated with phytohemagglutinin. Patient lymphocytes were cultured in medium with autologous plasma (from the patient himself) and with homologous plasma (from an unaffected donor), while donor lymphocytes were cultured in medium with plasma from a patient or with plasma from the donor himself. The Ficoll-Hypaque mixture caused no morphological or ultrastructural changes in the lymphocytes of patients or of unaffected donors. Patient lymphocytes cultured in medium with autologous plasma showed different degrees of cytoplasmic and nuclear alterations, such as organelle dissolution, vacuoles, amorphous masses, deformed nuclei, and absence of nucleoli. Lymphocytes from control individuals cultured in patient plasma also showed ultrastructural alterations, though they were less marked, and a reduced number of ‘blasts’. Patient lymphocytes cultured in medium with homologous plasma (from a control individual) showed a morphology similar to that of lymphocytes from control individuals cultured in medium with their own plasma, although with a lower number of ‘blasts’. On the basis of the results obtained using that methodology, we draw the following conclusions: (1) separation by Ficoll-Hypaque does not seem to alter the ultrastructure of patient or donor lymphocytes; (2) patients with diffuse PCM and more markedly impaired general condition can exhibit lymphocytes with morphological and ultrastructural alterations capable of affecting their biological systems and functionality; (3) the morphological and ultrastructural abnormalities and the reduced blastogenesis observed in patient lymphocytes cultured in autologous plasma and in control lymphocytes cultured with patient plasma appear to be due to factor(s) present in the plasma of PCM patients.
KeywordsLymphocyte ultrastructure lymphocyte transformation test paracoccidioidomycosis phytohemagglutinin
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