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Host cells of Toxoplasma gondii encystation in infected primary culture from mouse brain

Host cells of Toxoplasma gondii encystation in infected primary culture from mouse brain

Parasitology Research 83(7): 637-641

In order to identify brain cell types that serve as host cells of Toxoplasma gondii encystation primary cultures from murine brain were infected and stained for neural and parasite stage-specific markers. In mixed culture inoculated with T. gondii tachyzoites, MAP2+ neurons, GFAP+ astrocytes, F4/80+ microglia, and O1+ oligodendrocytes proved to be infected as detected by parallel labeling of SAG1. At 4 days following infection with bradyzoites, cysts developed in neuronal, astroglial, and microglial host cells as clarified using bradyzoite-specific antibody 4F8. Additional staining of SAG1 revealed that astrocytes in bradyzoite-infected brain cell culture can also harbor tachyzoite-containing vacuoles. Stage conversion was observed shortly after inoculation and was accompanied by an increase in] parasite proliferation. However, tachyzoites became rare in prolonged culture. By contrast, the numbers of cysts and of the bradyzoites isolated multiplied during long-term culture. These findings demonstrate that both glial and neuronal host cells allow T. gondii encystation in the absence of T cell-derived cytokines and imply that a brain-internal spreading of bradyzoites may sustain chronic infection.

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Accession: 046274753

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PMID: 9272550

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