Parasitology Research

, Volume 80, Issue 6, pp 517–522 | Cite as

The reservosomes of epimastigote forms ofTrypanosoma cruzi: occurrence during in vitro cultivation

  • Regina C. B. Q. Figueiredo
  • Mário Steindel
  • Maurilio J. Soares
Original Paper


Reservosomes are large membrane-bound structures found mainly at the posterior end of epimastigote forms ofTrypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas' disease. We screened 5-day-old culture forms of the following strains at the ultrastructural level for the presence of reservosomes:T. cruzi strains Y and YuYu as well asTrypanosoma (Schizotrypanum) spp. strains M431, M504, and M519 isolated from bats (Epitesicus sp.) in Santa Catarina, Brazil. The organelles could be found in all strains analyzed, supporting a previous hypothesis that they are a marker of trypanosomes of theSchizotrypanum subgenus. Stereological analysis was carried out with the Y strain to follow the development of reservosomes and lipid droplets during in vitro cultivation of the parasites. Reservosomes were partitioned to the daughter cells during cell division such that the organelles were present in newly formed parasites. Estimation of the volume density after 3, 5, 7, 9, and 12 days of cultivation showed that it was lower in younger cultures, becoming maximal at day 9 (8.0%), but decreased in older cultures (5.9% at day 12). Morphological changes also occurred: type I reservosomes presented an electron-dense matrix with lipid droplets and were characteristic of younger cultures, whereas type II reservosomes presented a homogeneous matrix without lipid inclusions and predominated in older cultures. These organelles were absent in bloodstream trypomastigote forms isolated from infected mice. Lipid inclusions were found in larger numbers at the 3rd and 12th days of culture, but their volume density was lower at the log phase of growth.


Lipid Lipid Droplet Daughter Cell Infected Mouse Volume Density 
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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Regina C. B. Q. Figueiredo
    • 1
  • Mário Steindel
    • 2
  • Maurilio J. Soares
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Ultra-estrutura e Biologia CelularInstituto Oswaldo Cruz/FIOCRUZRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Microbiologia e ParasitologiaUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil

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